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Celebrate Spring with Paducah’s Colorful Blossoms

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Celebrate Spring with Paducah’s Colorful Blossoms

PADUCAH - Spring in Kentucky brings a profusion of flowery color, particularly with the blooming of the Commonwealth’s famous dogwood and redbud trees.

While you can glimpse these wonders of nature throughout the state, several locations offer the best prospects for viewing large concentrations of redbuds’ striking pink blossoms and snowy white dogwood blooms

One such location is Paducah, where the city has designated a Dogwood Trail that snakes 10 miles through downtown and leafy residential neighborhoods.

The lighting of the dogwood trail in Paducah became a tradition in April 1964 when the Civic Beautification Board began the tradition of touring Paducah in bloom at night. In 1964 when Dolly McNutt, chair of the Civic Beautification Board, visited Knoxville, Tennessee, she was taken by the beauty of Knoxville's lighted dogwoods. When she returned to Paducah, she persuaded members of the CBB that sponsoring a lighted dogwood trail would benefit Paducah. The first trail was two blocks long along Sycamore in Paducah's west end. It is now a 10-mile driving tour traversing downtown, LowerTown, and other residential neighborhoods. The tour showcases Dogwood, Japanese Maple, Red Bud, and Weeping Cherry trees as well as blooming garden areas and other flowering species.

April 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Dogwood Trail Celebration, which is highlighted by nighttime illumination of trees and gardens along the trail. Follow the signs strategically located at each turn in the trail, and you’ll see many varieties of dogwoods, as well as Japanese maples, weeping cherry trees, redbuds and other flowering species.

The celebration stretches over several weeks in mid-April while the trees are in bloom. BikeWorld is coordinating a leisurely bike ride along sections of the Dogwood Trail. The event will be Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. Cyclists will leave from BikeWorld located at 809 Joe Clifton Drive. The ride will weave through neighborhoods, returning to BikeWorld where those participating in the ride will have a cookout. The community is invited to take part in the spring celebration ride and cookout. In previous years, more than 250 cyclists rode the trail and returned to enjoy an afternoon of grilling and fellowshipping with other cyclists.

Winning entries in the city’s Dogwood Art & Photography Contest will be displayed at Paducah City Hall through June. For more information about the Dogwood Trail Celebration, visit www.paducahky.gov/paducah/dogwood-trail.

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