Seasonal Special Events Which Draw Large Crowds
Drawing tourists and many people from surrounding counties, there are several regularly held special events. Among these are the annual Depot Variety Show, Farmer’s Markets, Fourth of July Carnival and Fireworks Show, the Appleknocker Arts and Science Festival and Jerry Jennings Memorial 5K Run, the Flora Halloween Parade, and Dean’s Bluegrass Music Jams. Other community events include the WNOI Home and Garden Show in March (618-662-8331), Great U.S. 50 Yard Sale in May (618-662-2108), annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony (618-662-3999), the Clay County Fair in July (618-676-1046), the Flora Kid’s Day Parade in September (618-662-2904), annual Veteran’s Day Parade and Ceremony (618-662-2638), and Christmas In The Park in December (618-662-5646). The annual Appleknocker Arts and Crafts Festival and the annual Flora Halloween Parade draw the largest crowds, numbering in the thousands, each year.
FCDC Depot Variety Show – This event draws large crowds each May when it is performed on stage at the Flora High School auditorium. Held at 7 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday nights of Mother’s Day weekend, people come from far and near to watch local talent perform a different show each year. Written, produced and directed by local talent, the show each year gives many area residents with acting, singing and dancing talent a chance to entertain. The event is sponsored by the Flora Community Development Corporation and all proceeds go to support renovation and operation of Flora’s historic B&O Railroad Depot. New and different material is presented each year, ranging from replaying old TV shows to original scripts written locally. Whatever the theme, the annual show offers plenty of humor, good music and the opportunity to see local citizens in an entirely different light, far different from their daily occupations. For more information or tickets, call 618-662-5646.
Farmer’s Markets –Home grown fruit, vegetables, homemade bakery items and some craft items are on sale from the first Saturday in June until the last Saturday in October. The market is held downtown on the lawn of the Flora Public Library each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 618-662-8313.
Fourth of July Carnival and Fireworks – A three-day celebration of our nation’s founding is held in Charley Brown Park. Carnival rides, live entertainment on stage, a popular All-American Boy and Girl Contest for very young children from Clay County all draw large crowds throughout the three-day festival. Fireworks on the Fourth of July cap the celebration and usually begin about 9:30 p.m. For more information, call 618-662-5646.
Appleknocker Arts and Science Festival – This event is held each year on the last Saturday in September on the campus grounds of Flora High School. The one-day event draws several thousand visitors each year. The event begins early, at 8 a.m., with the Jerry Jennings Memorial 5K Run. Throughout the day, over one hundred booths offer children and adults special activities that highlight the arts and sciences, plus varieties of food from different cultures, and stage presentations that vary from Indian dancing to acrobatics to snake handling, puppetry, music, contests and more. For more information, call 618-662-2412.
Flora Halloween Parade – This event is held on the Saturday evening nearest the traditional Halloween date of October 31. Floats, bands, masqueraders, antique and emergency vehicles, and much more make up a parade lasting over two hours through Flora’s main downtown street, North Avenue. Starting at 7 p.m., the parade each year draws huge crowds the entire length of the parade route, which starts at Flora’s historic B&O Railroad Depot and ends about one mile later at McEndree School. For more information, contact 618-662-5646.
Dean’s Bluegrass Music Jams – Bluegrass musicians appear at Flora’s Charley Brown Park for two weeks each summer to play their music with other musicians from throughout the area and neighboring states. Many come in campers and park their mobile homes throughout the park’s large camping area. Groups then gather throughout the afternoons and evenings to play, with musicians moving from group to group. Visitors wishing to listen are welcome throughout the week-long meetings. The first music jam is usually held the second full week of May. The second one is usually held the second full week of August. For more information, call 618-662-5646.