For the past 20 years, the Daylily Festival and Garden Show in Abbeville has helped usher in the summer.

This year, it’s helping to usher in a return to normalcy.

While local health of- ficials continue to urge proper COVID-19 proto- cols, something for which organizers of the Daylily Festival have accounted,this will be one of the first events to welcome people back to Vermilion Parish. Last year, the pandemic led the cancelation of the parish’s lineup of festivals and celebrations, with Daylily being one of first to be canceled.

That will change tomorrow, when (the Cecil McCrory Exhibit Building, located at 1105 West Port St. in Abbeville) opens for the 19th Annual Daylily Festival & Garden Show. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“There are less vendors this year,” said Charlene Beckett, one of the event’s co-chairs. “We took CO-VID into consideration. They will be spaced out. You will be able to walk around, and not be so crowded.”

Vermilion Parish Tourism Director Alison Miller said it is great that people will have the opportunity to “walk around” and take in the festival.

“We are very excited that the Daylily Festival and Garden Show is returning and are expecting a great turnout,” Miller said. “This festival is sort of the “kick-off” for our 2021 festivals.”

Along with all the plants, the event will feature two educational speakers. The first session this year will start at 10 a.m. in the Abbeville Cultural Center adjacent to the Square. SPICE IT UP, with Mandy Armentor, LSU Ag Center, Ex- tension Agent-Nutritarian and Health and Anna Barras, Nutrition Educator. They will demonstrate how to make salsa using fresh vegetables.

Jarret Young, owner of Young Land Designs LLC, is the grandson of Roy Young and carries on his grandfather’s legacy of horticulture. Jarrett will detail the INS and OUTS of Citrus Trees. His session will start at 11 a.m. Jarrett will give you tips and advice on caring for your citrus trees. There will be time for questions at the end of each session.

“Since the educational speakers are inside our Cultural Center,” Miller said, “people who attend can also learn about all the other things and events that we have in our parish.”

That includes restaurants, which are plenty in the downtown Abbeville area. Those, along with other businesses, could easily see a boost, thanks the Daylily Festival.

“The Daylily Festival is always a huge hit,” Vermilion Economic Development Alliance Executive Director Anne Falgout said. “It attracts people from around the region to our parish where they can not only enjoy the festival, but all that our local merchants have to offer. Once they experience downtown Abbeville, local restaurants, and the friendliness of our people they usually come back. That’s the most exciting part about our festivals returning.

“We get to share what we have to offer with a broad audience and get lifelong customers for our local business community.”