A spring favorite

Camas Plant and Garden Fair celebrates 20 years

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A well-known local event will be back for its 20th year.

Since 1997, the Camas Plant & Garden Fair has offered an array of choices, many of them from local vendors, to those looking to develop their green thumb.

Held in downtown May 13, the Saturday before Mother’s Day, this spring favorite will include a variety of plants, flowers, trees, garden art, planters, garden furniture, birdhouses, iron works and a large selection of other locally made and grown products.

“It’s an opportunity to get something special for mom or to pick up something for your own garden,” said Carrie Schulstad, Downtown Camas Association executive director. “It has become one of our most popular events in downtown Camas as there is something for everyone.”

There will be plant and garden vendor experts throughout the fair, which will be designated on a list, available at an information booth at Fourth Avenue and Cedar Street, and by yellow flower signs on vendor booths.

Experts will include Silver Star Vinery on growing Clematis; Scented Acres on attracting birds and butterflies; Halfmoon Farm on beekeeping and pollinators; The Water Shed on ponds and water plant gardening; Columbia River Daylily Club on growing daylilies; Odd Farms, LLC on flavors and heat levels of hot pepper plants; and Eastfork Nursery on growing Japanese maples.

The free potting station will return this year, where attendees can plant flowers and plants in the pots and planters they purchased that day. For those who are new to planting, there will be tips on how to create effective and sustainable container plantings.

A “Find the Ladybug” activity, new this year, will encourage families to explore downtown shops to earn tickets to enter to win a family gardening prize basket.

Returning to the fair will be the Kids’ Zone including the Camas Camp n’ Ranch 4-H petting zoo, crafts with Camp Windy Hill, planting with the Camas Farmer’s Market, and face painting by JJ Entertainers.

The giant puppet “Rosie” will be back entertaining the crowds as well as “Farmer Friendly” on stilts by Rhys Thomas of Jugglemania. Additionally, Boy Scout Troop 554 will be there to help citizens with their purchases as needed.

Live music and fresh food options will also be offered.

Applications for plant and retail vendors are still being accepted. Application forms and information can be found at www.cwplantfair.org.

All products intended for sale must be plants or garden-related items, and must be grown or produced locally.

“Come stroll the charming streets of historic downtown, enjoy a latte and treat or lunch, and shop from unique local plant and garden vendors,” Schulstad said. “The quality is exceptional and keeps people coming back year after year.”

Camas resident Renate Minder has been a vendor at the fair for the past 14 years.

She is a gardener and works year-round in preparation for the event. Her specialties are container gardens, ready made gifts, hanging baskets, perennials and unusual plants.

“Our downtown is so beautiful and the perfect setting for this event,” Minder said. “It feels good to be able to share with so many people and help businesses at the same time.”

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, her children do much of the work at the fair.

They also feel pride to be part of the camas community, Minder added.

“I feel honored to be part of the plant and garden fair, and my mission is, as our sign reads, ‘We spread the joy,’” Minder said.