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Denton Redbud Festival continues revival of old TWU tradition

April 13 was named Denton’s Official Arbor Day at the city council meeting last Tuesday, and Keep Denton Beautiful will be celebrating it with the community.

Around 60 vendors will be livening up the celebration with tree and plant sales, local and handmade products, family-friendly activities and more at the annual Denton Redbud Festival.

“We’ve got environmental education, and we’ve got a little bit of everything,” KDB Event and Outreach Coordinator Autumn Natalie said.

Promoting community beautification and Denton pride, the annual Denton Redbud Festival will be held at the Denton Civic Center April 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival’s roots originate from a festival held by Texas Woman’s University to celebrate beautification and tree planting efforts on campus from the 1930s through 1981.

KDB revived this TWU tradition in 1994 with the Denton Redbud Festival to honor Denton’s designation as the “Redbud Capital of Texas.” Since its revival, the Denton Redbud Festival has earned KDB the 2014 Outstanding Arbor Day Activities Award from the International Society of Arboriculture and the Texas Forest Service.

“Every bit of this festival – the vendor fees and any kind of payment that’s received – goes right back to the nonprofit.” Natalie said. “That helps us to keep putting on the Redbud Festival the next year, so it’s really important to come out and support the festival.”

This year, the festival will feature two fundraisers to support and give back to KDB. The tree sale will give attendees the option to purchase a redbud or Mexican white oak at a discounted price. There is also an opportunity to make a donation to KDB by picking plants to make a plant bar to take home.

While spring in North Texas can be notoriously rainy, event organizers won’t let April showers put a damper on the festivities.

“We try to do everything we can to make sure that we have a plan for rain,” Natalie said. “Even though spring is a crazy time, when you get a great day, it is beautiful.”

If the weather is anything like it was at last year’s Redbud Festival, the event will be moved inside to allow the schedule of events to continue. Workshops on monarchs, tree care, beekeeping and native North Texas trees will accompany the TRASHion Fashion Runway Show put on by SCRAP Denton throughout the day.

“It’s an event that I would attend, personally, so maybe that’s why I enjoy planning it so much,” Natalie said. “There’s just so much the whole day, and it’s a really enjoyable, fun event.”

The festival is free to attend, and more information about the event or Keep Denton Beautiful can be found on the event’s website.

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