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City of Dresden Celebrates 43rd Annual Iris Festival

DRESDEN, Tenn. - The rain and cloudy weather today did not stop these flowers from brightening the Mcwherter Civic Center here in Dresden.

As part of the 43rd annual Iris Festival, the iris and horticulture show is one of many activities to celebrate the iris flower and the city of Dresden.

“A lot of the prizes are in memory of someone who has lived here and taken part in the Iris Festival in the past.”

Shirley Smethwick has taken part in the Iris Festival for over thirty years, and every year she looks forward to the iris and horticulture show.

Each flower entered in the competition is judged based on freshness, neatness, and growth, and prizes are donated by community members.

“I think it draws the people closer… have things for us to do here in the community… because that’s what it’s all about, it’s community.”

Shirley Chappell believes the Iris Festival is more than just iris flowers, it’s about community and bringing people from all over, not just from Dresden, together.

“And irises are resilient, I mean even if you don’t take care of them, they grow. And so, the people of Dresden are resilient. You know, the tornado hasn’t stopped them. They’re still a community and fighting to get back to where they were.”

To Nancy Thompson, the Iris Festival is a sign of Dresden’s resilience.

Even after a tornado destroyed a lot of the city in 2021, the community came together to pick themselves back up and celebrate their city.

The festival doesn’t end today, you can check out tomorrow’s events at Tennessee Iris Festival on Facebook.

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