“[Vendors in the fall] had been asking for us to look at something in the spring because the one in the fall has continued to grow year after year,” said Jennifer Matthews, committee member for May Market at Rose Lawn. “So they knew that they had some weekends open in the spring and asked if we would look at doing something in the springtime and we were happy to.
“Really it’s very similar [to the Arts Festival at Rose Lawn in September]. Probably the only difference between the one in the fall is the time of year and this one is a one-day [event], not a two-day. And it’s not quite to the size because this is our first year. But otherwise, I think what sets it apart [from other festivals] is we have free admission, we’re located conveniently downtown, around a beautiful, historic institution, and we have entertainment, food and artists.”
Operated by Bartow County government as a house museum, the Rev. Samuel Porter Jones’ former residence at 224 W. Cherokee Ave. features the belongings of the late Methodist evangelist’s family and teacher, Rebecca Felton. While his ministry started small — preaching at various churches and open-air tabernacles surrounding Cartersville — Jones gained notoriety during the late 1800s. He drew thousands to revivals at the Union Gospel Tabernacle, now known as Ryman Auditorium — a venue in Nashville, Tenn., that was built in his honor.
Like the fall festival, patrons will be able to partake in guided tours for $5 of the 18-room Victorian structure. The event also will offer handmade arts and crafts, food, garden products, a plant sale conducted by local Master Gardeners and live entertainment. Presented by Bartow County government, the festival will be sponsored by Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Century Bank and Wynn Buick GMC.
“We’ve had a lot of interest,” said Regina Wheeler, May Market committee member and Cartersville-Bartow County CVB’s deputy director. “I would say right now we’re getting close to 50 artists. We hope to have maybe 60 [or] 70. We’ve had a lot of calls and we are approaching the last week here of registrations being accepted. So we think we’re going to hit our goal for this first-year event. We were hoping about 70 [or] 75. What we want to do is grow slowly, much like we did with the Rose Lawn festival. We basically began growing the fall festival from the west side of the Rose Lawn home, if you will, and eventually came across and around and then filled the back lot there as well, so that 100 percent of the property is filled in the fall.
“This will be a nice spring event that will take advantage of the sunniest spots of our property as well as giving people good room to move about and to experience the roses that are in full bloom. We don’t want to crowd our star and our star is the roses that are in bloom. So we want it to be a good, well-rounded event and also to showcase the home. And we’re very happy to have the carriage house [open again]. That’s been something that’s been closed to visitors for some time. The county has worked very hard on getting that restored and renovated back, so that it could be open and used for events.”
Vendors can secure a booth space, which range from $75 to $125, by completing an application at www.roselawnmuseum.com or requesting a form by calling 770-387-5162. The deadline for vendors to register will be April 4.