SOUTH PARIS — The McLaughlin Foundation will be celebrating its 8th Lilac Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 29-31. New to the festival this year will be a book signing by Maine author Jane Lamb on Sunday, and a 5K walk/run on Monday morning.

As in past lilac festivals, there will be lilac care and maintenance workshops and garden tours at the McLaughlin Foundation located at 97 Main St., South There will also be periodic showings of the 1928 silent film “Jeannine, I Dream of Lilac Time” starring Colleen Moore and Gary Cooper throughout Saturday and Sunday.

Lamb’s new release from Downeast Books, “The Grand Masters of Maine Gardening: And Some of Their Disciples” is a collection of her profiles of Maine’s most notable gardens or premier gardeners, including Currier McEwen, Bernard McLaughlin, Roger Luce and Patrick Chassé, among others. Lamb will be signing books at the McLaughlin Foundation from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday. Copies of the book (hardbound, $30) will be available for purchase.

The first annual 5K Lilac Lap walk /run is set for 8 a.m. on Monday, May 31. While the garden is located directly on route 26 in South Paris, the race route will follow quiet neighborhood roads, with race start and finish at the garden. The route includes uphill and downhill stretches, rest/water stations, and of course, the scent of lilacs.

On Monday, actor and minister Dan Lakeman will once again read Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed” at 11 a.m. Honoring the day, the McLaughlin Foundation will be donating a lilac to the Maine Veterans’ Home on High Street.

Syringa Plus in West Newbury, Mass., Fox Hill Nursery in Freeport and Bailey Nursery in St. Paul, Minn., have donated over 60 lilac plants as prizes.

Race registration forms are available at the McLaughlin Foundation. Entry fees: $10 adults, $5 kids under 12. The first 200 preregistered will receive a free Lilac Lap T-shirt.

The gift shop and plant sales will open at 9 a.m. all three days. The Garden Café will be serving light lunches and refreshments.

A $3 donation is requested for the event.

This year’s festival is sponsored by Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice and Bailey Nursery.


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