Daylily Festival returns to Botanical Garden, live music slated for Thursday

June 11, 2022 | 12:09 am

Updated June 10, 2022 | 10:01 pm

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The 13th annual Daylily Festival is returning to the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden with a jam-packed week of festivities to celebrate one of the largest collections of blooms in the state. The event runs from June 13-18, highlighted by an evening of live music on Thursday.

Bourbon Revival will headline the live music event, covering popular songs from various genres and decades, all with a bluegrass flair. The event also features Gene’s Fresh food truck and Southern Secrets Desserts paired with a cash bar and wine tasting. 

“It’s a cool night to be in the garden after hours; it’s a very unique experience,” said Executive Director Laurna Strehl. “The event is geared towards adults, but everyone is welcome. The band was a huge hit last year. You could be singing along to Journey one minute, and the next, you’re singing Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball.” 

Admission for Thursday is $20 per person, with kids 12 and under admitted free. Purchase tickets to the event here

While the festivities did continue through the pandemic, this marks the first year that the event returns a sense of normalcy with minimal restrictions. This also makes the first year for the new entrance, which immediately greets patrons with the recently constructed Path of Hope and Healing.

The pathway features ribbons with colors from Kentucky’s top 12 cancer diagnoses and concludes at a 21-feet tall art sculpture of butterflies, the largest of which has a 10-feet wingspan. 

A free rock painting experience for youth highlights Monday’s events, while Tuesday plays hosts to a Lunch, Listen, and Learn with daylily enthusiast Kay Comer. The Owensboro Art Guild will host the Plein Air Paint Out on Saturday morning, featuring an art competition with cash prizes. 

The merriment concludes on Saturday afternoon with the Day of Family Fun, sponsored by U.S. Bank. Beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m., the event features a petting zoo, a magician, theatre performances, face painting, a guided kids’ hike, and the Real Hacienda Food Truck. 

Strehl said the garden is renowned for its daylilies, and they’ve recently added a full-time employee specifically for the flowers. This, paired with increased volunteerism and extra attention, has created a more exquisite flower-gazing experience.

“Each year, there are people who anticipate the daylilies and make it a celebration,” she said. “We’ve been giving them a lot of extra attention, and we were able to add a lot of seasonal help thanks to Americorp. This year, you will see a noticeable difference when you look at the beds.”

She attributed the increase in volunteerism to the supportive community and said the garden is a shining star right now, and people want to be a part of it. 

“This is one of the largest assortments of daylilies, with over 800 varieties and thousands of blooms,” Strehl said. “Everything looks amazing right now, and we’re excited to share and promote that beauty through this festival.”

A detailed schedule of events is available on the garden’s website here.

June 11, 2022 | 12:09 am

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