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Spring festival helps budding artists
Annual Spring Fling blends plants and art to help Dawson County schools
Jennie Viers works on a glass piece on Sunday during the Spring Fling festival in Dawsonville. The Dawson County Middle School was transformed into a network of craft and plant vendors, along with artists, food booths and kids activities.

April may be known for showers, but it is the April flowers that help make the Spring Fling festival  in Dawsonville a gardener’s dream come true.

The festival, which always takes place during the first weekend of May as a fundraiser for the Dawson County Arts Council, just celebrated its ninth year this past weekend as gardeners, artists and local spectators gathered at Dawson County Middle School.

Marcia Chelf, the executive director of the Dawson County Arts Council, said money raised help maintain the Arts Council, which provides activities for children, such as musical theater and art programs. The Arts Council also runs a gallery that’s open daily.

Carol Tyger, president of the Dawson County Arts Council, said she believes it is important for kids to have the opportunity to learn about art because it brings out creativity in children.

“I think it gives them a sense of accomplishment,” Tyger said. “It instills in kids the love of art and gives them self-confidence in something that they did all by themselves.”

Chelf said the Spring Fling is a noteworthy event because it combines gardening items with all sorts of arts and crafts.

Kids had their own playing area at the Spring Fling, and there also was music from different groups, such as the Dawson County Chorale.

The event also featured 3K, 5K and 10K races as well as a bike ride. The bike ride helped raise money for a scholarship for Dawson County High School.

Vendors such as Ann Bosworth set up their shops either inside or outside Dawson County Middle School.
Bosworth, who was selling some of her jewelry, said she started collecting beads 14 years ago while visiting places in Africa.

“I love to play with color, texture and design,” Bosworth said.

Although Bosworth is a relative newcomer to the festival. But fellow vendor Dave Rusk is a veteran. He has been selling plants, potting tables, benches and painted windows at the Spring Fling since its first year.

Rusk, who is a Hall County Master Gardener, said now is the time to plant both flower and vegetable gardens. People need to take the time to prepare the soil for their garden, space plants properly and be sensitive to whether the plant does well in sun or shade.
And if you water properly and fertilize, he said, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.

Another aspect of the Spring Fling is the car show. Best friends Deborah Gilley and Dawn Cotton were looking forward to checking out the muscle cars, especially the older ones.

But this year, the show included a new aspect — new cars.

“This has been kind of fun for the men,” Chelf said. “The men can look at the new cars this year, and people have been really pleased.”

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