The inaugural Redbud Festival will be held this Saturday, April 22 at Nesselrod on the New, celebrating Earth Day with a big line-up of live music, favorite food trucks, art, plants and, of course, the Redbud tree.
Nursery Natives is holding the event, and co-organizers Jesse Kelly and Katie Mae McFall say the festival will offer a great chance to have fun – and maybe learn a little about native plants in the process.
“The Redbud Festival celebrates local roots and plants new seeds around the blossoming community,” said Kelly.
“The impetus behind the festival really boils down to creating an opportunity to showcase what makes our communities especially unique; the people, plants and other life around us,” said McFall. “The Redbud is a touchstone that opens the door to that conversation and soon, celebration, where we can come together and indulge in everything local. We’re talking art, music, food, and at the heart of it, plants. Coincidentally, the Redbud has a heart-shaped leaf and if the day after the festival, just one more person can now ID a tree that they previously overlooked, I’ll call it a success.”
Kelly agrees the Redbud tree is a great fit to be celebrated by Radford.
“In the heart of the New River Valley, the heart-shaped leaves of the (native) Eastern Redbud tree are an exceptionally fitting tree for Radford,” he said. “Serving as ambassadors of Spring, the magenta-pink blossoms create majestic corridors along 81 and throughout the city, inviting new life to grow every spring, generation after generation.”
“On Earth Day this year, we hope that people will get to know and love the Redbud tree, each other and Radford a little more,” he added. “As more people are able to recognize and name this beautiful tree (and others) around the New River Valley, a more sacred connection can grow, unifying the community landscape while more collectively supporting our natural ecosystems.”
The festival includes 10 live musical performances on two stages, food trucks, beer and wine, plant vendors, and artisan, craft and food vendors. Gates open at 2:30 p.m.
“Through our relationships with plants, food and music and one another, we believe the Redbud Festival will continue to kindle authentic connections, strengthen community ties and support city missions while cultivating new, fruitful opportunities for everyone to become closer to nature – offering us all a reason to celebrate,” said Kelly.
“The festival is about joy and fun, but it’s also about looking towards everything that happens until next year’s celebration and how we engage with our community (human, plant, and wildlife alike) through an ethos of genuine care,” said McFall.
Ballpark Signs is a gold sponsor of the event. The event will also include a Redbud fundraising drive. Plant SWVA Natives has donated 100 bare root Eastern Redbuds to the festival organizer, Nursery Natives, which will be available to guests with a recommended donation of $5 – $10. All funds that are raised through the Redbud Drive will be invested back into the festival, or another community project occurring at Sunset Park in Radford. Donors will be given the option which cause they would like to support.
Tickets to the event are $10 and are available through Event Brite and BetterWorld.org
The musical lineup includes:
Ball & Chain (Amphitheatre Stage)
Parker’s PillBox (Gazebo Stage)
The Food Trucks:
Beer cash bar
The Plant People:
Draper Springs Nursery
Radford University Greenhouse
Planetary Produce, Nursery Natives & Feeding Appalachia
Plant SWVA Natives
Arts, Crafts, Wellness, Foods and other vendors:
Lil Bit Corny
Lunachick’s Bittersweet Emporium
The Stray Shop
Filamina Jewelry LLC
The Magic Floof
Martin Craft and Design
Blue Ridge Goatscaping
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