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Thursday, Nov 23, 2017
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Merchants, Garden Club sponsoring downtown festival

PLANT CITY - An annual celebration that showcases gardening is branching out this year. The Downtown Merchants and Business Association for the first time will be a sponsor of the event, recently renamed Gardenfest and ETC. Gardenfest was founded four years ago by the Plant City Garden Club. Downtown merchants are joining in this year to help promote and welcome the visitors during the event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Organizers want to broaden their reach, said Darcy Stottlemyer, president of the merchants association and a Garden Club member.
"The best part has been working with the downtown merchants as they will provide the antiques and craft vendors," Garden Club President Christy Linke said. The booths will be set up in and around downtown's McCall Park and the adjacent Union Station Depot Welcome Center, at 102 N. Palmer St. There is no admission charge. The Plant City Day Break Rotary Club will operate a booth serving hot dogs, hamburgers, sodas and more as a fundraiser for the club's charitable causes. Bill Hebert will be on hand to sharpen garden tools, kitchen and hunting knives for a nominal fee. The Garden Club is sponsoring two speakers at the depot, include Phil Elting from Elting's Exotic Plants, who will talk at 11 a.m. about tropical plants and flowers; and Dennis Gretton from D and D Growers, who will share his knowledge on herbs at 1 p.m.

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