IMG_5872Brittney Raby – Staff Writer

The Franklin Garden Club (FGC) has been working with gardening clubs in Macon County to host the first annual “Franklin In Bloom” flower festival on Main Street. The garden festival will be held throughout June with special events held each Saturday at the Clock Tower and Rankin Square.

Hanging flower baskets, planted by members of the FGC will be installed on every streetlight along Main Street from town hall to the garden squares. Saturday activities being planned include face painting, children’s crafts, games, plant identification, garden tours, discussion of seed germination and plant propagation. The Franklin Garden Club, Master Gardeners of Macon County, and the Otto Garden Club will each host special events on Saturdays throughout June.

The FGC is working to incorporate Main Street merchants by enhancing the individual flower planters businesses have on the sidewalks in front of their stores. Each week, special recognition will be given to the business with the best flower planter on display.

“The festival will be a flower-filled celebration that will keep people talking about Franklin as well as generate interest in community-service participation in the FGC,” reads the FGC grant request to the TDA.

The FGC requested $3,500 to cover the cost of materials for the hanging baskets and advertising for the festival, but after discussion amongst TDA board members, the TDA voted to allocate $1,600 to cover the proposed cost of advertising for the festival. Advertising costs associated with the festival includes the cost of purchasing a banner to hang across Main Street advertising the month-long celebration.

The TDA also voted to approve $700 for Tour Macon County, a marketing campaign anchored at the Macon County Airport in the form of an ad kiosk. While the project is focused on the kiosk at the airport welcoming visitors to Macon County, the advertising approved by the TDA will also be featured on social media platforms and the Tour Macon County website.

Tour Macon County is being managed by Dale McGiboney with Highlands Mediaworks and is a partnership with the Macon County Economic Development Commission. The interactive video kiosk will enable visitors to learn about Macon County and connect with local businesses.

The airport kiosk will feature a touch screen installation that allows visitors to access the Tour Macon County N.C. video. The video is an ever-expanding digital project that will continuously be updated and improved upon.

The TDA’s $700 commitment covers the cost for an advertising spot on the kiosk highlighting Franklin as a tourism destination. McGiboney suggested an interview with Franklin Mayor Bob Scott for the video spot.