In anticipation of their 10th Dazzling Daylilies Festival, Western Kentucky Botanical Gardens has extended their celebration, packing 10 days of activities into this year’s event.
The festival, set to run June 20 through June 29, will have something for all ages, according to Garden Director Susie Tyler.
This year’s theme, “The Greatest Blooms on Earth,” will bring the circus to life inside the 14-acre Garden. While activities take place each of the 10 days, June 22 is the main event. On that day, Tyler said visitors can expect a stilt walker from Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, a Cirque du Soliel hula artist, strolling clowns, a fire juggler and tumblers.
“We want to appeal to everyone of all ages,” Tyler said of the event.
As has been tradition, the event will feature hot air balloons over the Garden. This year, on June 22 only, tethered rides are all that will be offered and that will be on a first come, first serve basis. A stationary balloon will also be available for visitors to look at and a balloon glow will be offered between the two that evening.
Food trucks will be on site for visitors as well as music and children’s activities. The festival is sponsored by U.S. Bank, whose employees have been volunteering during work hours to prepare the Garden for the season.
While Tyler said all of these things will be great for visitors to enjoy, the main attraction is the daylily display.
“They truly are beauty for a day,” Tyler said of the Garden’s famous flower, whose bloom will only survive one day.
But with over 1,200 distinct plants, there are plenty of blooms to enjoy. Dr. Bill Tyler, Garden manager and daylily expert said there are over 600 named varieties. Bill said that June through mid July is peak season to see the daylilies. Garden goers can even visit the dig beds, where more than 500 plants are available to shovel up and take home for a small price.
Although weather is always a variable in the Dazzling Daylily Festival, Susie says they have seen participation grow each year. Susie said a map that was placed at the Garden entrance last year and those attending the festival were asked to pin when they were from.
“We had 25 states represented and five foreign countries,” Susie said.
Admission to the festival is the same price as regular admission to the Garden, except for June 22 when adults are $5 and kids 12 and under are free.
“There is no other environment like what we have here at the Garden,” Susie said.