The Bert J. Harris Agricultural Center in Sebring was filled with people both inside and outside, as they browsed vendor booths and beautiful plants at the Let it Grow! 2020 Garden Festival and Plant Show. The weather was fine; warm and sunny.

“It’s a nice day. We have vendors inside and outside and the plants are in the back,” said David Austin with the University of Florida / IFAS Extension Service in Highlands County. “The Master Gardeners Plant sale in the back is doing very well today.”

The Highlands County Master Gardener volunteers have been growing plants for the sale all year long. Some of their selections included vegetable plants, orchids, succulents, milkweed, shrubs, annuals, flowering perennials and edibles.

Jean Forman, Jamie Barksdale and Doris Accardi loaded up their vehicle with a variety of plants.

“We have some colorful crotons and katuk. We also have some edibles such as sugar cane, ginger and longevity spinach.”

Myron Lavender was pulling a wagon load of plants for his wife Donna, who is also Kupkake the clown.

“She’s the gardener and she’s working today at the show. I’m just helping.”

Cindy Marshall, coordinator of the Aktion Club, had many of her members there to assisting people by helping them take their plants out to their vehicles.

The Aktion Club of Highlands County is a civic club sponsored by the Kiwanis’s Club, consisting of adults with disabilities. It looked like they were all working hard today, as the turnout for the event was huge.

Outside, there were vendors with smaller plants, jewelry, handbags, plant stands and other unique items.

The Highlands County Supervisor of Elections had a table with Debbie Schoonover and Giselle Acevedo there to answer questions and provide information. Elections Poll worker Bruce Carter was visiting with them.

Inside the center there were also vendors. Some of those included tables with information on medical and insurance providers, holiday décor, wood crafts and photography.

Joyce Boivin and Cheryl McCullough were admiring the works of photographer Cindy Rose Eaton.

Sandra Johnston of Sandra Johnston Arts, had a table with holiday and other décor.

The Heritage Association of Highlands County and the Historical Society had informational tables with books and keychains for sale.

Outside in the back, the grounds were filled with shoppers. Many had wagons full of plants and waited in long lines to pay. However, they all had smiles on their faces as they visited with other plant enthusiasts while waiting.

Kasey Pacheco was there with her son Jireh. She had his stroller filled with plants.

“I am a holistic nurse who likes to garden. I just got a small community plot here at the center and now have somewhere to grow my garden.”

Jamie Tremps was the entertainer inside the center, on guitar and vocals. The group playing outside in the back was Calico.

With plenty of plants and trees, holiday gifts and décor, a room full of silent auction items, along with music and a food truck, it was a great day to enjoy outside in Highlands County.

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