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Hills & Dales to hold Picnic in the Garden this weekend

In 1919, three years after completing his new home, Fuller E. Callaway welcomed hundreds of delegates of the International Cotton Conference to Hills & Dales Estate. They held a large picnic-style event in the grove and toured the garden, according to a press release from Hills & Dales. Inspired by this historic event and beloved pastime, Hills & Dales began hosting the annual Picnic in the Garden in 2008.

This weekend Hills & Dales Estate will host the 14th annual Picnic in the Garden on Saturday, May 8, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event is open to the community and includes free admission to the gardens for anyone who brings a picnic basket and blanket.

Prizes such as a membership to the estate and fabulous gift shop merchandise will be awarded for the most creative and beautiful picnic spreads. Anyone who would like to participate in the contest can pick up an entry number upon arrival from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Judging will take place at 12:30 p.m.

Hills & Dales notes in the press release that it likes to pay tribute to the Callaways’ love of animals, especially their mini-horse Willie, by having pony rides for the children. At the year’s picnic, the state will also offer balloon twisting and yard games for all ages. Additionally, picnickers will enjoy live music from local musician, Nicholas Edward Williams.

“Our picnic has become a popular regional event with many families returning each year,” said Executive Director Carleton Wood.

“The event continues to grow and gives families an opportunity to spend quality time together and experience the garden the way several generations of Callaways have. Children always enjoy doing the old-fashioned games and the little ones just love riding the ponies. We hope the community will bring their family and friends to the pecan grove this Saturday for an afternoon of outdoor fun and games.”

Social distancing will be implemented and masks are required in all buildings and public transportation through the estate.

Tours of the first floor of the Callaway family home will be available during the event at a discounted rate. For more information, visit hillsanddales.org or call (706) 882-3242.

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