Everything You Need to Know About the Dogwood Festival
If you’re a resident of Phoenixville, you know the legacy of the Dogwood Festival. Since the 1940s, Phoenixville has organized a parade to commemorate members of the Armed Forces and the lives lost during World War II. This year, you can celebrate the Dogwood Festival in full capacity, compared to the modified events of 2021. New and old residents, here’s everything you need to know about this year’s Dogwood Festival.
The festival spans from May 18 to May 21 and features your typical carnival-style rides, games, concessions, local food, and non-profit vendors.
It’s located within Reeves Park, which is the focal point of history for the festival.
The festival is a dedication to service and community. The events happening over the 4-day festival are service-centric and crafted to be inclusive to everyone. You’ll be sure to find something that fits your interests.
Dogwood happens every year on the week of Armed Forces Day and celebrates the veterans by putting on a parade, which is rich with history.
What’s New This Year?
In the past 2 years, we learned a lot about helping one another. The organization behind servicing the community, the Phoenixville Jaycees, put extra effort into modernizing the festival.
Daily Wristbands – If you were tired of waiting in long lines to buy tickets, you can now buy unlimited rides for $25. Along with the unlimited rides wristband, digital technology is being used to reduce contact during ticket sales.
Dogwood Beer Garden – Phoenixville is a craft beer town, and this year’s beer garden is no exception. It’s hosted by Ideal Brew and can be found on 3rd avenue on Thursday, May 19. Proceeds from the beer garden will benefit the Phoenixville Jaycees. Not to worry, the beer garden is borough approved and common among other nationwide festivals.
Dogwood Royalty – Over the years, the Phoenixville Queen pageant adapted to include everyone. The royalty program gives students in various age categories a chance to be crowned as Dogwood Royalty and participate in the parade. The contest involves raising money for the Phoenixville Jaycees, which gives back money to non-profits and community initiatives. Guardians can find out more by checking out the website link.
Aunt Mary Pat Bingo – Aunt Mary Pat is a Delco comedian, voted Delaware’s Readers’ Choice best entertainer 2019 and Best of Delco’s 2019 for best comedian. She’s hosting bingo in the park on Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.
Aunt Mary Pat also enjoys raising funds for LGBTQ+ initiatives. Be on the lookout for upcoming pride festival news in Phoenixville!
Sensory Friendly Parade – According to the press release, “this year’s parade will feature Sensory-Friendly experiences for children and adults who may require a low sensory environment. On the Dogwood Parade route along Main Street between Walnut and Washington Streets, a Sensory-Friendly area will ensure parade participants proceed without lights, sirens, horns, music, yelling, or other loud noises, additionally participants will reduce audience interaction and stay as close to the center of the road as possible in the designated area.”
The Origin of the Dogwood Festival
The name of the festival comes from a Dogwood tree in Reeves Park that is dedicated to the individuals from Phoenixville that served in the Armed Forces. The memorial was created in 1943 by Retired Army Major General Edward C. Shannon, former commander of the 28th Division (PA National Guard).
The overall idea behind the festival is to give back to the community and the people who serve it. The Dogwood Royalty program is still celebrated today and pays homage to the original Phoenixville Queen.
History tells us that in 1943 Phoenixville High School graduate Regina Glowacki, became the first Dogwood Queen. This status was earned based on a large number of War Bonds and War Stamps she sold. Glowacki’s efforts helped to raise over $8,154.85 for the war effort which was a central theme for early Dogwood celebrations.
As time went on, the festival adapted with modern-day efforts. You can see these efforts through the foundation that supports this festival.
The Foundation Behind the Festival
As an organization, the Phoenixville Jaycees is continuously making efforts to better the community. All proceeds raised from events go towards scholarships, local non-profits, and strategic initiatives centered on improving the overall community.
The modernization of the festival also comes on the heels of the Jaycees’ newest program.
Under the Jaycee umbrella, there’s an initiative to encourage young professionals to come together as a community.
Phoenixville Social is a group for events, volunteer opportunities, and recreational sports for young professionals. As COVID-19 subsides, the organization is looking to put on more events for people to reconnect.
All of the Jaycees’ initiatives are to help the community. The Dogwood Royalty campaign is to support the re-kindling of the community post-COVID-19 pandemic and provide programming for the organization.
If you want to learn more about this initiative visit the Phoenixville Social site.
Support the Community
As life returns to normal, people should feel a new sense of community. Whether you have a friend or family member in the Phoenixville community, consider donating to the campaigns behind the Dogwood Festival. They are put in place to keep moving forward together.
Learn more about the festival on the site and have fun at this year’s event!
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