THOMASVILLE — The show’s the thing, the Thomasville Rose Show, that is.

“Many people think when they’ve been to the (Rose Festival) parade, they’ve been to the show,” explained Gail Lane, Thomasville Rose Society president and Rose Show co-chairman.

“Until you’ve seen those roses, it’s a spectacular sight. It makes you feel good,” she added.

This year’s show — the 85th annual — will be even more accessible: The event will be staged in a large, air-conditioned tent at Remington Avenue and Broad Street.

The Rose Show has known several homes, the most recent at Exchange Club Deep South Fairground on Pavo Road, until the location was changed to Crawford Street in downtown Thomasville two years ago.

On Crawford, the show was a block east of downtown’s main drag. This year, the event is centerstage, in the middle of everything.

“Previously, it was off the beaten path of everything happening with the festival,” said Karen Smith, Downtown Thomasville Main Street director.

This year, the show will occupy a spot between Paradise Park, the site of many festival activities, and Thomasville Police Department’s car and truck show, two blocks to the north.

Nearby, Rose Show designs will be on display in Broad Street businesses.

“They really are in the thick of things,” Smith explained.

Downtown merchants were willing to give up a few parking spaces to make the Rose Show’s new location possible.

The Rose Show is sponsored by the Thomasville Rose Society. The event also is a Standard Flower Show, sponsored by Thomasville Garden Clubs Inc.

Marge Willis, 2006 Rose Show chairman, is excited about the event being in the center of so many Rose Festival activities. It is only fitting, she added.

“The Rose Show is what the festival is about,” Willis said. Moving the show downtown has been a big boost.

Many people did not want to drive to the event when it was conducted in outer locations, Lane said.

She said that from an engineering standpoint, the street at Remington and Broad is wider and flatter than Crawford.

Willis thinks the downtown location has revived interest in the show.

“I think the community has become more interested in it again because of its central location downtown,” the show chairman said.

Lane agreed, saying attendance has increased since the move downtown.

Also, Lane said, efforts have been made by the Rose Society and Thomasville Garden Clubs to involve younger people.

A torrential rain struck during the first hours of the show last year. Rain gushed quickly under the tent and into the show.

“I’m told the drainage is better on Remington,” Lane said.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier an be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 220.

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