History of Semmes Camellia Festival
The First Semmes Camellia Festival was a community event that began in 1949 at Semmes School. It was an elegant affair with the displays of individual Camellia blooms, Camellia flower arrangements, and landscape displays provided by Semmes Nurserymen.
Students of Semmes school provided Camellia’s in Art and a Camellia Pageant. The Camellia Pageant consisted of a King and Queen from the Senior Class and a court of Camellia Maids and Knights representing each class. A theme was chosen and Entertainment for the court was provided by each grade.
The following is a letter written in 1955 announcing the Sixth Annual Camellia Festival.
“Semmes, the heart of the Camellia and Azalea industry of America, is situated partly on a main highway, sequestered and quiet, a peaceful land just fourteen miles from charming old historic Mobile.
On this level fertile land the flower lovers are creating an earthly paradise, a beautiful environment with abundance and even luxury, with every appointment for the health and comfort of man, with simplicity and loveliness, a place of which to make the business of life a “business of Living.”
Boasting, but with a deep sense of humility, we say that the exhibits of this show prove the point that flowers harmonize with everyday living. Exemplifying this point is the class of arrangements of flowers suitable for the home.
Running concurrently with the show will be an exhibition of “Camellias in Art.” This exhibit will bring a variety of artistic styles and abilities to delight the eye. Our educational feature will be something to talk about for months to come as we will have a special propagating room that features cuttings, grafts and seedlings in all stages of development.
We shall be looking forward to seeing you and meeting you personally at our gala affair of “Know, Grow and Show Camellias.”
Augusta E Vickers, Chairman; Reba Grimes, Co-Chairman Semmes Camellia Festival (Show) was revived 2013.
The present day Camellia Festival (Show) was revived in 2013 by Semmes.
Preserving our History!