A trio of events arrives this weekend

Published 12:05 pm Friday, April 22, 2022

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The city of Franklin and Southampton County will be hosting several notable events in the coming weekends, including three this coming weekend.

The inaugural Franklin Spring Fest, which is a free event, will take place Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in downtown Franklin.

On the same day, the Homes and Farms at the Edge of the Woods Tour will take place in Franklin from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. as part of Historic Garden Week, which is presented by the Garden Club of Virginia.

Saturday evening, starting at 7 p.m., Hunks in Heels is a fundraiser for the community that will take place at the Franklin-Southampton County Fairgrounds in Courtland.


Franklin Director of Tourism Carson S. Blythe said the city’s fall festival is an annual event that garners a lot of traffic, but people had also become interested in the city doing something on the other side of summer.

“People had requested, ‘Hey, how about something in the spring?’” Blythe said. “So we decided to bring (a festival) to the spring this year and see how it goes, and we’ve actually got more vendors signed up for this one than we did for the last fall festival, so we’re very excited. We have over 85 vendors.”

Spring Fest’s layout will be quite similar to the fall festival.

“We’ll have Main Street shut down from the railroad to 3rd Avenue, and then we’ll have 2nd Avenue shut down from Eye Care 108 to Kilby’s (Flower Shop), so it’s kind of a T-shape of downtown that’ll be closed off, and the vendors will be on the sides of the streets,” Blythe said.

There will be a significant variety of vendors on hand, including specialty food vendors, with funnel cake, cotton candy and barbecue; woodworking vendors, with custom hand-crafted furniture and cutting boards; boutiques; skin-care vendors; crafter vendors; home decor vendors; information booths; and more.

“Of course, some of the downtown businesses are participating,” Blythe said.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be represented at the festival by its art mobile, which Blythe noted is an 18-wheel tractor-trailer that has been converted into a mobile museum. Free tours of the air-conditioned art mobile will be offered.

It will be parked near the road in the Franklin Farmers Market parking lot from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

The farmers market, known as Franklin’s Market on Main, will be open for the duration of the festival.

“The Franklin Animal Shelter will be here with an adoption event,” Blythe said. “So they’ll bring some of their available cats and dogs that hopefully will find their home with all the exposure.”

She also noted that in the grassy lot across from Manry Rawls on North Main Street, there will be a cornhole tournament fundraiser that benefits Special Olympics Area 29.

There will be a cost for participation in the tourney. Sign-in and check-in runs from 9:30-10:30 p.m. People can pre-register at www.iplayacl.com for at least the first event. The tournament will start at 10:30 a.m.

For more information on the cornhole event, email Trev Linton at tlinton@franklinva.com or text him at 757-556-9421.

In the Coldwell Banker parking lot will be a kids’ area, featuring two bounce houses and ice cream.

To learn more about this family friendly event, search for “Franklin Spring Fest 2022” on Facebook.

A press release for this event noted that the tour will feature four homes in Franklin that will be open for the first time. They include an updated farmhouse on a 600-acre working organic farm, a cottage at The Village at Woods Edge and two homes in neighborhoods whose owners can still enjoy the beauty and freshness of the tall pine trees that have meant so much to the city of Franklin’s history.

The website www.vagardenweek.org provides details on all the tours happening throughout the state during Historic Garden Week, including the tour in Franklin.

The Franklin tour’s hosting clubs are The Franklin Garden Club, The Elizabeth River Garden Club and The Nansemond River Garden Club.

Amy Browne, of the Franklin club, summed up the city’s upcoming home and garden tour by saying, “It’s just an opportunity to have a beautiful day, to see beautiful homes, to see beautiful flower arrangements and to see beautiful gardens.”

The headquarters for the Franklin tour will be The Village at Woods Edge, located at 1401 N. High St. in Franklin.

People can purchase tickets in advance for a discount at www.vagardenweek.org. Regularly priced tickets will be available for purchase in-person at the event.

A flyer for the tour in Franklin states that all tickets purchased online, as well as statewide passes, must be validated at tour headquarters before beginning the tour.

Masks will be required in The Village at Woods Edge, but they will be optional inside the homes.

An event press release stated that lunch will be available for purchase from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at The Village’s Back Porch & Grille. Limited lunches will be available for order the day of the tour. Take out options will be available for order the day of the tour while supplies last. For reservations and menu options, visit www.villageatwoodsedge.com.

Browne noted that there will be several vendors present at tour headquarters, including those that deal in decoupaged creations using a variety of shells; woodworking; acrylic and watercolor paintings; hand-carvings and hand-crafted leather; birdhouses; and boutique items.

Pineview Greenhouse will also be represented.

Browne said the tour is a fundraiser to aid in the efforts of restoring historic gardens and parks throughout the state.


The Franklin Southampton County Fair Queens Pageant is presenting this event that will raise money that will go back to the community to help families in need and also facilitate the fair. There is a cost of admission.

Janet Joyner, who is helping organize the event, said it will be similar to a womanless beauty pageant. Participants will do a freestyle dance number, model fun fashion and evening gowns and answer questions, along with other activities.

The participants include Deputy Forrest Hart, Deputy Josh Dowd, Cameron Longoria, Adam Olson, Deputy Alfred Hill, Detective Ben Grizzard, Jake Pope, Cecil Lowe, Sgt. Jason Brinkley, Bryan Mattox, Officer Carlos Gonzalez, Justin Rooker, Brian Williams, Deputy Christopher Burnsworth and Tyler Dodson.