Azaleas ready to bloom

The Pickens Azalea Festival Committee is working hard to get everything in place for another huge festival in downtown Pickens on April 20-21. The fun will all get started on Friday night with the annual cruise-in, featuring some of the hottest rides from around the area and the sounds of the Sweet Potato Pie kids and the Jake Bartley Band. As part of Pickens County’s 150th anniversary celebration, the committee has planned a costume contest, with winners chosen for the best 1800s costume. The committee is also taking advantage of Pickens’ downtown amphitheater, with entertainment being moved to the location in the center of historic Pickens this year. The downtown amphitheater, which was designed for musical events such as this, will offer spacious seating. Assistance will be available for anyone having trouble walking down to the venue. Saturday will continue festivities along with an entertainment schedule loaded with talent, including Benton Blount, Mac Powell and more. There will be additional information booths on West Main Street this year. Pictured are committee treasurer Jeff Hogan, festival sponsorship coordinator Pamela Dodson, committee members Michael Ralston, Frances Wannamaker and Susan Ralston, committee chairman Russ Gantt and committee member Roy Costner.