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Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival continues this weekend

If you want to stop and smell the flowers this weekend, it’s likely your last chance to visit the Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival just a short drive outside of Little Rock.

The festival is in its 46th year and sees about 10,000 annual visitors annually, according to organizers. Carrie Kessler is a member of the Wye Mountain Community Church, which hosts the festival, and volunteers at the festival each year.

She says the daffodil field has been on Wye Mountain for much longer than the festival has been around.

“The fields started being planted about 75 years ago, when the Harmon family acquired a bushel basket of daffodil bulbs." Kessler said, "So they planted the bulbs 75 years ago, underneath all of the orchard trees, and they multiplies, we've added more bulbs, we've cultivated, and today we have 7 acres of over 80 varieties of daffodil.”

This year the festival has brought some additional features for families to enjoy, as well as bringing back some favorite food trucks and sellers.

“We'll have several food trucks, a lot of vendors, and this year we have added some other things to help us in the ministries of our church here, we have silent auction items and a quilt we are giving away.”

Pets are welcome to come out and frolic at the festival, although there are some restrictions about where they can be to protect the flower fields. While entry to the festival is free, sales and donations benefit the church. Kessler says the congregations relies heavily on income from the event.

"It's absolutely critical. We're a small congregation. We're growing but we're small. and so the festival supports us really throughout the year, especially in those ministries that we care so much about."

Kessler continued, "We've got several ministries we provide for the community here at the church. One is our food pantry, and we also do a bike rodeo where we provide bicycles to people in the community, and this year, we're also renovating and restoring the parsonage.”

The festival ends on Sunday, weather permitting. If it gets rained out, organizers will extend it for one more weekend.

Nathan Treece is a reporter and local host of NPR's Morning Edition for Little Rock Public Radio.