By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Other | Issue: April 2008
Jim Bailey, 2008 festival chairman, and Mari Migliore, publicity manager, relax on one of eight park benches provided by the Jenks Garden Club.
If you want to find some great plants, learn about flora, or shop for your garden, the 12th annual Jenks Herb & Plant Festival is the place to be on Saturday, April 26. Shop from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church parking lot, between 2nd and "A" Street. Come as early as 6:30 a.m and enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast for $4, served inside the church by the Jenks Kiwanis Club.
Vendors and growers will provide a wide variety of herbs, flowers and shrubs that are adapted to local-area weather and soil conditions, but not always found in local nurseries. You’ll see organic vegetables and herbs. You’ll also find naturally-grown, open-pollinated heirloom vegetable plants, herbs and flowers. Heirloom tomatoes are always a favorite.
Shoppers arrive from all around northeastern Oklahoma every year to buy their favorite plants from their favorite vendors. They purchase trees, shrubs, tropicals, succulents, annuals and perennials. This year, for the first time, two specialty growers will provide rose and blackberry bushes.
"One of the purposes of the festival is to advance gardening," says Mari Migliore, publicity manager. "We want people to plant something they had never thought of planting before." If you’re not sure about how to handle a plant, there will be an education booth available. Master gardeners will help answer all of your gardening questions.
There are lots of other items to delight shoppers as well: baskets, birdbaths, birdhouses, garden décor, soaps and lotions, hand-crafted paper goods, metal sculptures, pottery, herbal oils and vinegars, and garden-related books, to name a few. More than 100 vendors from Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas will be on hand for the event.
Live entertainment will keep music in the air all day. Kids can enjoy clowns, puppet shows and games in the special children’s area, where the Jenks Fire Department will have a fire engine available for up-close examination. The Garden Railroaders will also feature their mini trains for the young and the young at heart.
And then there is that wonderful festival food. Enjoy barbecue, funnel cakes, fresh-squeezed lemonade, cherry limeades, or wonderful Amish sweet treats.
The Herb and Plant Festival is sponsored by the Jenks Garden Club. Jim Bailey, 2008 festival chairman, praises the hard work of the 40 or so club members. "These are some of the best people anybody could ever work with," he says. "They are all committed to the community and its beautification."
Proceeds from the festival cover the costs of planting pots on Main Street, at the West entrance to the city, the Jenks Bridge and Veterans Park. The proceeds also fund special community projects. Last May the funds were used to help provide seating at the playground across from Jenks Veterans Park. The Garden Club spent $4,000 to purchase the eight park benches. Additionally, a $1,000 scholarship is awarded each year to a college-bound Jenks High School senior majoring in a horticulture-related field.
Mari says the festival draws many people from out of town and state because Jenks is a destination city. Shoppers flock to Jenks to stroll through the antique shops on Main Street, and the Oklahoma Aquarium is another popular spot. Jenks Riverwalk Crossing Art Walk Event, featuring some of Oklahoma’s finest artists and representing over 20 art mediums, promises to be bigger and better than ever this year. It will be held April 26 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and April 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There’s something to do in Jenks from early morning until late night.
Whether you’re a green thumb, a wannabe gardener, or you’re just thinking about planting a few things, the Jenks Plant & Herb Festival is the thing to do Saturday, April 26. Some of the event sponsors are: Southwood Landscape & Nursery, Tulsa Teachers Credit Union, Amanda’s Greenhouse, Wallace Properties, Dixon Properties Co., Inc., BancFirst, Jenks Veterinary Clinic, Peace Frogs, Harris Chiropractic Clinic, Elm Street Entertainment, Inc., Citizens Security Bank, Jenks Chamber of Commerce and Jenks First Baptist Church. Without these good folks, the festival would not be possible. For more information, visit jenksgardenclub.com.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.