Nature smiles on Redbud Fest

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David Minton/DRC
Redbud saplings wait for someone to take them home at the Redbud Festival on Saturday at Quakertown Park.
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An estimated 4,500 people came out to attend the 21st annual Redbud Festival at the Denton Civic Center and Quakertown Park on a sunny Saturday.

The sunshine played a huge role during the city’s annual Arbor Day observance, which promotes the benefits of beautifying property and educates the public on proper tree planting, composting, water collection and even how ladybugs are helpful to a garden.

Lauren Barker, program manager of Keep Denton Beautiful, said the organization really lucked out that two of its recent events — the Redbud Festival and the Great American Cleanup — had amazing weather.

Each year, officials with the nonprofit group visit with Denton third-graders as part of its Arbor Day children’s program, and this year they continued the celebration Saturday morning inside the Civic Center.

“We had a story time for 5-to-10-year-olds and passed out free redbud seedlings and books to them,” said Barker, who has been a volunteer or coordinator for the festival since 2007.

Keep Denton Beautiful was also selling redbud seedlings and trees with proceeds going back into the festival budget for next year. By the end of the day, festival organizers expected to have sold all 500 to 600 seedlings and trees they had brought to sell.

Tessy Baugher and her three children were among the crowd enjoying the more than 70 vendors and family-friendly activities.

They heard about the festival on Facebook, but Baugher’s 9-year-old daughter, Tajallii, jumped in to say that the reason they attended was that her friend was in the Trashion Show. In the annual competition, participants model fashions created from discarded and recycled items.

“We thought about entering in the past,” Tessy Baugher said. “It became overwhelming, but now seeing the show, we have some ideas and are ready to enter.”

The Trashion Show was conducted for the third year, and the second year in conjunction with the festival, organizers said.

The Redbud Festival was originally hosted by the Texas State College for Women — now Texas Woman’s University — and was given new life by Keep Denton Beautiful in 1994 in honor of Denton’s designation as the “Redbud Capital of Texas.”

“This event is really the hub of the community,” Barker said. “I feel with each year we are pulling in the culture of Denton here.”

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.

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