Allison Stewart correspondent


BARBERTON:  The 23rd annual Mum Festival was held at Lake Anna Park this weekend. The festival featured 20,000 chrysanthemums and thousands of visitors in attendance.


This year’s festival honored the Native Americans who lived in the Barberton area. There were performances by the Red Bird Drum and Dancers, who demonstrated American Indian drumming and dancing.


Jean Hurbean, a Barberton resident, has been volunteering at the Mum Festival for five years.


“I like doing things for the community,” said Hurbean. “If people come out to the festival they will see how wonderful Barberton is and hopefully come back.”


There were numerous unique vendors throughout the park including “Jewelry Designs by Margie” ran by Margie Wills.


Wills makes jewelry from her home and attends local venues to sell her designs to the public. This is her third year selling jewelry at the Mum Festival.


“It’s a wonderful event,” said Wills. “People come out to do their holiday shopping early. The Mum Festival is one of my favorite venues and one of the most successful.”


This was Chelsea Campbell’s fourth time coming to the Mum Festival.


“I love the ski show,” said Campbell. “I think it’s a great event. It seems to get a larger turn out every year.”


The festival featured food vendors, arts and crafts, log, ice and vegetable carvings, sand sculpting, canoe races and children’s crafts and balloon art.


Returning this year were performances by the ETC Children’s Choir, New Horizons Band and the Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show Team.


The mums were donated by Aris Horticultural Services.


According to Mayor William Judge, Barberton art students went out this past year and painted designs on the concrete trash cans around Lake Anna.


Judge believes making the area more beautiful will be beneficial to the city.


“Adding color and livelihood to the area will attract more people to our city,” said Judge.


The Mum Festival is a cooperative effort involving the City of Barberton Beautification Program, Aris Horticultural Services and the Barberton Community Foundation.