Civic Garden Club celebrates 82 years at Rose Festival

Apr. 29—THOMASVILLE — The Civic Garden Club opened up Saturday's Rose Festival activities with a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by its 82nd flower show and award presentation.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was filled with a joyful noise as the Rose City Symphonic Band played melodic tunes to welcome the crowds and celebrate the activities.

Civic Garden Club President Lessie Tillman thanked Director and Conductor Lisa M. Foltz for putting together a beautiful selection year after year, before sharing the history of the show with those in attendance.

"The Civic Garden Club started in 1941 under the leadership of Mrs. Georgia White and what we have done today, I'm very excited about it, very proud of it, and very appreciative of it," Tillman said. "We want to continue the legacy of Mrs. White for Thomasville and Thomas County."

Tillman went on to explain that the Civic Garden Club's mission has always been to beautify Thomasville and Thomas County.

"Today, we try to continue to uphold that legacy that she got started," Tillman said.

She then welcomed Mayor Todd Mobley, who applauded the longstanding history of the Civic Garden Club and their dedication to the area.

"I would like to thank Mrs. Tillman and the entire Civic Garden Club for their hard work to make this incredible piece of the 103rd Annual Rose Show possible," Mobley said. "It is truly impressive to see this show come together under the big top each year."

Mobley also thanked Tillman's co-chairs Sally Bevard and Christine Sneed, who have played a large role in the success of the event. He then welcomed Sneed to the podium.

Snead said the past nine months have been full of hard work, but she hoped that her contribution will help in not only this year's garden show but in the years to come.

She informed the crowd that a good gardener always plants three seeds: one for the birds, one for the weather, and one for herself.

"I sincerely thank the Civic Garden Club members and the City of Thomasville for helping make this possible," she said. "I hope you enjoy the show."

Before entering the show, Tillman announced the winners of this year's show.

The queen of this year's show for their rose was George Thompson.

Thompson is in for a shock, as his wife, Rosanna Thompson entered his rose and accepted the award to surprise him with.

Rosanna Thompson said she and her husband try every year to grow roses, but this year they came home to find a little, white rose and a yellow rose.

"I looked at the rose and thought this was perfect, so I did not tell him that I cut it or that I submitted it," she said. "I think he is going to be very surprised."

Other winners included Sneed for her Annuals/Perennials, Emorial Mitchell for Horticulture/Shrubs, and Lessie Tillman for Portable Garden.

Jael Tillman won the Youth Division, while Tillman claimed the top honors for Showstopper. Rosanna Thompson won in the Bird Bath category.

Patricia Solomon claimed first for her Welcome Wreath, while co-chair Bevard won for her photo. Sneed won in the Table Setting category, while Georgia M. Cromartie won for her amazing quilt project.

Nicob Brown won for collections and Mrs. Jefferson was the sweepstakes winner. Tillman said the entries over exceeded her expectations and she was proud of another successful year.