VIVA FLORIDA 500 HISTORY AND HORTICULTURE

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A celebration has been planned in Valparaiso
to celebrate Viva Florida 500, a statewide initiative led by
the Florida Department of State, under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott.
The event highlights the 500 years of historic people, places and events in
present-day Florida since the arrival of Juan
Ponce de León to the land he named La Florida
in 1513.
Celebrations have been taking place statewide, and the City of Valparaiso, the Heritage
Museum of Northwest Florida, and Valparaiso Garden Club have planned a day of
fun and education for the public in celebration of this historic event. The
celebration is set for October 26 at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida (115 Westview Avenue)
and Perrine Park
in the historic district of old Valparaiso
from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

The garden club is hosting a plant sale with hundreds plants
available for purchase at just the right time for fall planting. Trees, shrubs,
and perennials planted in fall’s favorable weather have a better chance for
survival than their spring-planted kin. Don’t miss this opportunity to procure
some of the garden club’s tried and true plants for your garden. To see a list
of plants, go to www.mariesgardenanddesign.com. Click on “List of Plants
for Sale.” From
the list, click on the name of any plant for a picture and cultural
information.

Also on tap is a lecture by Sheila Dunning, Okaloosa County
Commercial Horticulture Agent, entitled “Gardening in the Sand.” This lecture
is highly recommended for any residents eager to learn how to garden more
successfully in our unique area. Sheila’s lecture will begin at 10:30 a.m. in
the blue room of the museum.

Many other activities are ongoing. Children ages 3-8 are
invited to join garden club members for a garden related activity at 10:00 a.m.
on festival grounds. Everyone is invited to the ground breaking of a community
garden behind the museum at 12:00 noon. Story time for all children will be in
the blue room of the museum at 1:30 p.m., followed by a floral design activity
for children ages 8-12 at 2:30 in front of the museum. Kids of all ages may
have their faces painted and enjoy shopping the vendors, eating kettlecorn,
funnel cakes, corn dogs, barbeque, and other festival type foods and drinks.

Plan to bring the whole family to celebrate 500 years of Florida history, people,
and plants. Proceeds will fund the community garden and the garden club’s
scholarship programs. For vendor information contact valpviva500@gmail.com.

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