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Mount Hood's Magical Soils Give Life to Dazzling Dahlias

Becca Barnhart | 08/30/2016 | Events, Farm Agritourism, Mt. Hood Territory, Summer
The fertile soil of the Willamette Valley is world-renowned for its wine-growing capabilities. Those same many other wonderful products too, including a dazzling selection of flowers at the annual Dahlia Festival in Canby. Swan Island Dahlias is the largest dahlia grower in the United States. The business has been producing beautiful flowers for more than 90 years, with the Gitts family owning it since 1963. In that time theyve cultivated numerous new breeds of all colors, shapes and sizes. The 40 acres are opened to the public each blooming season starting August 1, culminating in the annual Dahlia Festival which is the largest display put on by one grower anywhere in the country. This years festival is set for Aug. 27-29 and Sept. 3-5. The festival features more than 400 floral arrangements of dahlias, another 15,000 cut blooms on display plus the 40 acres of colorful blooms all vying for your attention. Walk up and down the rows to take in the seemingly endless varieties and just try to choose a favorite every time you think youve found it, another one will take its place. As if the beautiful blooms werent enough, theres plenty of activity going on as well. In addition to various demonstrations taking place each day, theres wine tasting from St. Josefs Winery, amazing BBQ from Canby staple Ebners Custom Meats plus other food and drink vendors. Come on an empty stomach, its worth it to sample all the deliciousness youll find here. The festival also features live music from noon until 4 p.m. each day of the event. Always family friendly, the Dahlia Festival also has some fun kids activities like a balloon artist and face painting. Parking and festival admission are free, all you need to do is bring a camera and a love for beautiful flowers for a fun afternoon.
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