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Daffodil Daze gears up for Saturday

SHADY COVE — One of the Rogue Valley's more vigorous spring displays, the annual Daffodil Daze Festival on Saturday promises to top years past with a sea of yellow blooms.

The seventh annual tribute to the yellow flowers along Highway 62, this year's festival is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Alma Spicer, volunteer chairwoman of the Upper Rogue Regional Tourism Alliance, said this year's event would be shorter than the two-day events in years past, but is sure to cram "a whole weekend worth of fun" into just one day.

The only major change, a popular "fun run," has been canceled this year, but all other events are similar to those in years past, including the sea of daffodil flags lining Highway 62 (courtesy of the Shady Cove Boosters), musical entertainment and antique tractor displays.

For a suggested donation of $2, a vintage-style trolley ride dubbed the Daffodil Express will offer guided tours of Shady Cove's best blooms beginning at 9:45 a.m. with a final shuttle tour departing the Two Pines Smokehouse at 3 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Ron and Charlotte Boehm, who own the hilltop Four Oaks development, where many of the flowers are planted.

Though the festival kicked off in 2001, landscape crews for Four Oaks began planting some 50,000 new daffodil bulbs annually in 1995.

While other spring flowers make a nice buffet for wild turkeys and deer that frequent the area, daffodils are a natural for the lengthy display each year, Spicer explains, because deer don't find them as tasty.

In addition to free trolley rides, Saturday's festival will feature a slew of events hosted by community groups and area businesses including:

  • A tractor display by the Wild Rogue Antique Power Tractors.
  • An art show and sale featuring western artist Carl Seyboldt at the Edgewater Inn.
  • Wine tasting at the Crater Lake Cellars Wine and Tasting room across from Edgewater near the old firehouse.
  • Musical entertainment by the Prospect High School varsity pep band.

While the event is popular for its local appeal, Heather Cover flower shop co-owner Vicki Richmond said calls had been coming in at a steady pace from out-of-state residents eager to know if the blooms had made an appearance this year.

For her part, Richmond's shop is providing discount-priced daffodil flags to get local residents into the mood for the daffodil event.

"Everybody looks forward to Daffodil Daze. We've been selling the flags pretty steadily. It's just an event people like because daffodils are beautiful," Richmond said.

For those who can't attend the festival on Saturday, self-guided tours are encouraged until the end of April.

Spicer said the display is best in coming weeks, but will stretch another month or more.

"The blooms will for sure be around until the end of April," Spicer said. "Sometimes we're really lucky and they stick around a little longer, but definitely the best time to see the beautiful flowers is right now. They're all in bloom and you get to see the Shady Cove family of deer and the wild turkeys. It's just wonderful."

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at buffypollock@juno.com.