Story and photos by JEFFREY POWELL
In excess of 700 people visited this year’s Camellia Festival held at Eden Gardens State Park in Point Washington. Event organizers had been a bit nervous concerning weather forecasts but fortunately the rain came through early Saturday morning allowing this annual event to be held under partly cloudy sky. Many locals attended the event as well as a large contingency of northern visitors. A quick glance at license plates in the parking lot proved that at least eight northern states were represented. One of those visitors was Minnesota resident Peg Seviola.
“I love this festival!,” said Seviola. “This is my second visit and the Camellias look so good, much better than the first time. The tour of the home was wonderful and the grounds are just great. There is so much history here.”
The festival is held as a cooperative effort by the Friends of Eden and the Florida State Park Service. Several Camellia-related demonstrations were held throughout the day and visitors were able to speak with two separate living history groups. The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center also had several reptiles for visitors to see and learn about.
“The idea behind this festival is to celebrate the beauty of the Camellia and Eden State Gardens,” said Friends of Eden Treasurer Marianne Burbach. “We have over 260 camellia bushes for people to see along with the floral presentation. We are very appreciative for those that came out to see us today. We are also thankful the weather cooperated. Eden is a great place to visit year round.”