FAIRFIELD, Conn.− A Mother’s Day tradition returns to Fairfield this weekend. The 77th annual Dogwood Festival begins at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church on Friday afternoon and continues through Mother’s Day weekend.
“Our 77th Dogwood Festival is a time-honored tradition that has had a strong evolution and continues to receive extensive community support,” Alida Ward, co-minister of Greenfield Hill Congregational, said in a statement. “The weekendlong events are shaping up to be some of our most comprehensive and exciting events of the year in Fairfield and perhaps since the Festival’s inception.”
The Dogwood Festival dates to 1936, when a group of ladies at the church noticed the droves of people driving past Greenfield Hill to look at the dogwood trees in bloom. They set up a single card table to sell homemade items to raise money for the church’s mission work.
Today, the event has grown to include games for children, juried art and craft shows featuring the work of Fairfielders and plenty of food. Saturday afternoon also will feature a house tour hosted by The Vanderblue Team, which will offer a look at some of the beautiful homes in the Greenfield Hill area. Saturday will culminate in a barbecue and dance party to benefit plans to repaint the host church.
The charitable effects of the festival have grown as well. A portion still goes to the Greenfield Hill Congregation’s mission work, but the event also benefits local and national charities, such as Operation Hope, the Children At Risk Fund, Janus House, Center for Women & Families and Project Learn.
“The Dogwood Festival has for 77 years been a wonderful tradition within the Fairfield community, involving so many in our congregation to make it the success that it is every year, and with the majority of the proceeds going to mission-supported activities and projects,” Dogwood Festival Properties Coordinator Michael Howard said in a statement.
The festival is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The “Paint the Town” barbecue takes place from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.
The festival is at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, 1045 Old Academy Road. This year, extra parking and shuttle bus service is available at Burr Elementary School, 1960 Burr St., and Dwight Elementary School, 1600 Redding Road.