Breaking News Bar
updated: 5/19/2011 11:18 AM

West Chicago Blooming Fest's more than a plant sale

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • West Chicago Garden Club's annual plant sale draws gardeners from throughout the area to Blooming Fest.

    West Chicago Garden Club's annual plant sale draws gardeners from throughout the area to Blooming Fest.
    Courtesy of the City of West Chicago

  • Local honey always sells out at Blooming Fest.

    Local honey always sells out at Blooming Fest.
    Courtesy of the City of West Chicago

  • West Chicago's annual downtown garden festival includes a craft and fine art sale, local entertainment, children's activities and food.

    West Chicago's annual downtown garden festival includes a craft and fine art sale, local entertainment, children's activities and food.
    Courtesy of the City of West Chicago

  • "Garden Guest," a painting by artist Paul Nemejic, is the logo for this year's West Chicago Blooming Fest.

    "Garden Guest," a painting by artist Paul Nemejic, is the logo for this year's West Chicago Blooming Fest.
    Courtesy of the City of West Chicago

 
 

This year, the early bird gets the heirloom tomatoes.

West Chicago Blooming Fest kicks off the start of the summer festival season on Saturday, May 21, with music, food, children's activities and other attractions. But the festival's roots are firmly planted in the popular West Chicago Garden Club plant sale.

Gardeners come from throughout the suburbs to buy the healthy, well-priced plants primarily from garden club members' own gardens.

Every year, the selection is a little different.

"This year we cut back on the more common things, so our variety is greater," said Thomas Fessler, plant sale chairman. "There's much more variety."

By popular demand, the club will offer more vegetables this year, including several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, peppers and pumpkins.

Perennial favorites include hostas, ostrich ferns and rose bushes. More unusual are the Pagoda dogwood trees from a garden club member's 10-acre property along the Prairie Path. And there will be a greater selection of peonies this year.

"We went with what people asked for last year," Fessler said.

Flats of annuals will also be for sale.

The plant sale runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fox Community Center, 306 Main St. Most gardeners come early for the best selection; any plants that haven't sold by 1 p.m. are typically marked down.

"At 2:30, it's garage sale time," Fessler said. "We don't want to take anything back with us."

Blooming Fest is much more than just a plant sale.

Main Street activities in downtown West Chicago include a craft and fine art sale, children's activities sponsored by City Museum and the West Chicago Park District, food from local restaurants and the Chicago Corvette Club "Wheels" exhibit.

Live music will be performed continuously on two stages. The Main Street stage is at 321 Main St.; the Local Music Night Stage is at 200 Main St.

City Museum, 132 Main St., features its "All Aboard" train depot exhibit, which includes a replica of a historic West Chicago train depot made of Legos.

Gallery 200, 200 Main St., is offering a full day of artist demonstrations and appearances.

For details or a full schedule of Blooming Fest activities, visit www.westchicago.org.

Because of road construction, Blooming Fest attendees are asked to enter the downtown via Route 59 and Main Street and use free public parking at the Metra Lot or City Hall. A free, handicap-accessible shuttle bus will be available.