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KATIE PEARSON | INDEX-JOURNAL

The butterfly has landed in front of Caffe 312, next to the seahorse in uptown Greenwood. These topiaries are on display for the upcoming Festival of Flowers.


Greenwood's Festival of Flowers took home a national award for its display of 43 topiaries during this summer's event.

On Saturday, America in Bloom, a nonprofit organization that promotes beautification program through the use of flowers, plants and trees, recognized the Festival of Flowers with an outstanding achievement award, beating out entrants from Castle Rock, Washington and Gallipolis, Ohio.

Greenwood was the only South Carolina community to have ever participated in the contest, and its annual topiary display received a floor bloom rating out of five by America in Bloom judges.

"We are excited to receive this kind of recognition, especially in our first year of participation. Greenwood has always exhibited civic pride and unity in their ongoing efforts to improve the area," Kelly McWhorter, executive director of the Greenwood Regional Tourism and Visitors Bureau, said in a press release. "We are blessed with beneficial partnerships and a strong teamwork attitude to make things happen here."

The festival, which takes every June, is heading into its 50th year. Organizers announced in September that the 2016 event generated $3.3 million in revenue and drew 85,031 people.

Angelle LaBorde, CEO of the Greenwood Area Chamber of Commerce and Festival of Flowers, traveled to Arroyo Grande, California with McWhorter to accept the award.

"Through the development of the community profile in preparation for our inaugural year, we were educated and enlightened on the breadth and scope of our community volunteerism efforts in Greenwood," LaBorde said. "We were delighted that the judges acknowledged