The allure of peonies continues to attract admirers centuries after this spring beauty was first cultivated. Visitors are invited to experience the magic for themselves at Peony Fest 2018, Saturday, June 2, at Baldwinsville’s Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
Mother Nature is setting the stage for Peony Fest 2018 to be held Saturday, June 2, at the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse. The recent burst of springtime weather has brought the museum gardens back to life with gusto. Vibrant bouquets of yellow primroses outline the beds, the hellebore is exploding with mauve colored blooms, the lilac is showing color and the peonies are almost two feet high.
Described as “a celebration of beauty,” the annual event is held on the museum grounds at 46 Canton St. in the village’s McHarrie Park. The museum’s heritage peony collection is the background and sets the theme. Artists and artisans exhibit and demonstrate their creative skills. Jewelry, textiles, garden accessories, watercolors, acrylics, photography, wooden wares and prints are among the many offerings.
SAMMY Award winner Kay Miracle has once again arranged a day filled with live music, much of which will be performed by its composers. The fragrance of 200 peony plants fills the air while the palette of pink, rose, red, cream and white blooms dazzles the eye. Historian Bonnie Kisselstein will test visitors’ imagination with a selection of tools and implements from yesteryear, and the Baldwinsville Public Library will share its ever-expanding resources available to meet every interest. Plant sales, the peony flower show, garden talks, and working artists add to the buzz.
Artist Sharon Blair will be back with her plein air painting class from 9 a.m. until noon. There is a fee for the class which is open to all media. Participants provide their own easels, lawn chairs and paint supplies. For more information or to register, contact Sharon at (315) 350-2061.
Fest visitors are also invited to become active participants. Both the flower show and the photography contest are open to all. There is no entry fee for either. For rules and details contact the museum at (315) 638-2452, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go online at shacksboromuseum.com.
Baked goods and beverages will be available on the museum grounds and a takeout chicken barbeque will be offered at Grace Episcopal Church, a direct run up Syracuse Street over the bridges and up the Oswego Street hill. The museum grounds offer sun and shade as well as some picnic tables.
The museum’s peony collection is a living history exhibit documenting Baldwinsville’s Indian Spring Farms, Inc. The farm raised and hybridized award-winning peonies throughout the 1920s. Nationally prominent horticulturist Harry Little headed the farm’s peony program whose customer base was international in scope. Unfortunately, the business succumbed to the pressures of the Great Depression in the early 1930s.
However, despite decades of neglect, peony root stock survived. Under the leadership of master gardener Doris Cross, the museum initiated a heritage peony rescue program. Today the fruits of that project are enjoyed each June as Baldwinsville celebrates Peony Fest. Fest hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is free.