SpringFest Steering Committee, left to right- Sarah Hicks, Event Chair; Andy Zanovich, Board President; Caty Coffee, Operations Manager and Logistics Coordinator; Dylan Axsom, Communications Manager, (Not Pictured, Laura Chalus, CEO Tulsa Garden Center)
By, Macy Goodnight; March 2020: As the grayness of winter is pushed aside by the consistent warmth of the sun, nature awakens with great inspiration, in an explosion of color and beauty. It is a time to rejoice, as we are blessed with the gift of spring.
The best way to celebrate the season is at the Tulsa Garden Center’s SpringFest! The annual event will take place April 10-11 on the grounds of the Garden Center, and at the neighboring Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. The festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Guests will be treated to almost 100 vendor booths, with many offering plants for purchase. Food trucks, as well as concessions inside the Garden Center mansion, will be available. On Saturday, with large crowds expected, shuttle transportation will be provided from parking at 21st and Utica. Handicap and membership parking will be available at the festival site. Admission to the event is absolutely free to the public, and everyone is invited! “This event is great for the whole family, especially the kids,” said TGC Board President Andy Zanovich, “not only for the educational aspects but for fun!” A kid zone is a favorite spot at the event, with lots to do, including face painting and horticultural education. Event partner, the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, will be open with free admission to the museum during the festivities. “One of the things that sets this event apart is that after you buy your plants here, we’ll still be here,” said TGC CEO, Laura Chalus. “We always have horticulture experts on hand with advice on any plants you buy, and to answer questions.”
SpringFest is a large fundraiser for the Garden Center and the adjoining parks and gardens and has been a festival favorite in the community since 1957. The almost 44-acre park in midtown Tulsa includes a grand variety of gardens and is not only a highlight for plant enthusiasts, but for history lovers as well. The glorious mansion on-site is 100 years old, as well as other historical buildings and gardens in the park. All proceeds from SpringFest are invested in essential renovations, restorations, maintenance and overall grounds beautification.
The steering committee for SpringFest includes Event Chair, Sarah Hicks; Operations Manager and Logistics Coordinator, Caty Coffee; Communications Manager, Dylan Axsom; and Board President, Andy Zanovich. “This event’s committee is all aged 40 and under,” said Laura. “We still have all of our older members, and celebrate our history and all of the things we do, but we also have some new, young energy and fresh ideas.” Each member of the committee became involved because they love the Garden Center and its mission. “It’s great working here because you get a feel for so many different things,” said Caty, who was recently elected as President of the Tulsa Cacti and Succulent Society. Andy has been with the Garden Center since 2013. “I really wanted to help, and I have a passion for this place. I want to help it progress and grow,” he said.
Dylan began his career at TGC as a volunteer at SpringFest. “I love watching things grow,” he said. “and this is a perfect place to do that.” Sarah was asked to serve as Chair of the event to bring young, professional energy to the festival. “I strongly believe in education on how we impact the planet, and how we can become better stewards of it,” she said. “We also want to convey that all are welcome here. This place seems really grand, and it is, but it’s for everyone.”
SpringFest sponsorships are available, as well as volunteer opportunities. There are many educational resources and classes also offered year-round. For more information, visit their website at www.tulsagardencenter.org, or follow them on Facebook or Instagram @tulsagardencenter.
See more about Inspiration Cultivation at SpringFest!: