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Dogwood parade, coronation this weekend

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All manner of vehicles and floats will be on display during the Queen’s Parade on Saturday.  BOOSTER FILE PHOTO | JIM POWERSAll manner of vehicles and floats will be on display during the Queen’s Parade on Saturday. BOOSTER FILE PHOTO | JIM POWERS

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – This weekend will see the coronation of a new Dogwood Queen.

The annual Dogwood Festival, which celebrates its third and final weekend as “Queen’s Weekend,” will take place on Saturday, April 6.

The festivities begin at 8:30 a.m. with the Dogwood Dash, a fun running event, which traces its roots back to the 1970s. The race begins in the parking lot of Woodville Intermediate School, located at 50 North Charlton Street, and is sponsored by Citizens State Bank.

Throughout the morning, beginning at 9 a.m., and going until 5 p.m., the Woodville downtown area, around the courthouse square, will be alive with vendors.

According to organizers, there will be a huge variety of food, as well as arts and crafts, and informational booths from non-profit organizations.

The Queen’s Parade will begin near the Tyler County Hospital at 2 p.m. and end at the intersection of US Highways 69 and 287.

Natalie Standley, of Warren, is the reigning Dogwood Queen, but on Saturday, one girl will be crowned as her successor.

The festivities for the coronation begin at 7 p.m. at the Dogwood Amphitheatre, which is located on the campus of Wheat Elementary. The traditional historical play will follow the queen’s coronation. The queen will be adorned with a crown, scepter and a stunning dogwood ring.

The Dogwood historical play is the longest-running outdoor historical play in the entire American south, according to organizers. A group of volunteer thespians and musicians entertain the queen, her court and attendees, by bringing the history of the county to life. Each year, the storyline of the play evolves, but focuses on a different pivotal event or era in the county’s history.

According to a news release from the Dogwood directors, the festival has been a cherished tradition, steeped in history and pageantry, since 1940.

For the 81st year of the festival, the theme is “Memories in Bloom.” The blooming of the dogwood trees, as well as the arrival of spring and its accompanying verdancy, is the reason behind the festival.

According to the Dogwood Festival website, “Tyler Countians have paid tribute to the glories of Spring and the lovely dogwood trees since 1940 by creating each year a growing and more beautiful Dogwood Festival.”

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