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Gantt, an administrator of the

Young Women’s Christian Organiza- tion, envisioned a springtime celebra- tion in Summerville, a festival that would feature floats fashioned of flowers, an azalea queen and a myriad of fun-filled family events. Charlsie Vorwerk came on board in

the early days to help plan the event. According to Vorwerk, a well-known artist who was appointed art counsel for the Festival Committee, the main

reason for the Festival was to raise money to pay for the YWCO’s various community projects for local children. The first Flowertown Festival in

1973 was nearly rained out, which did not dampen the enthusiasm of the YWCO; the group was determined to make it an annual event. Thirty-three years later, it’s obvious they succeeded in a huge way. Today, the official name is The Summerville Family YMCA Flow-

ertown Festival, and it attracts more than 250,000 people each year. Named one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tour- ism Society, the three-day Festival is held each spring in Azalea Park. Its effect on the town is enormous.

According to Linda McCoy, special events director of the Summerville Family YMCA, the Festival generates both economic and non-economic gains. | www. ILoveSummervi l

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