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    Recently, the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival has attracted a measure of criticism for its guidelines regarding religious organizations. Festival organizers have been accused of prohibiting churches from the festival. This is untrue.
    The fact is all churches and political organizations are allowed to apply as food vendors or as hosts of sanctioned events. This information is offered when contacting the Dogwood Festival office, as instructed on the vendor application. {mosimage}
All groups, including churches, are allowed and encouraged to participate as vendors as long as they are willing to adhere to the festival’s rules regarding the items offered for sale and how they conduct their business.
    These rules are established to make the festival fair to all vendors and enjoyable for all attendees. The vendor applications are made available for download on our website every November and are due at the Dogwood Festival office the first week of February.
All completed applications are presented to a juried selection committee for consideration. Incomplete applications are not considered.
    Each year at the conclusion of the event, the Dogwood Festival Board of Directors convenes with the goal of evaluating ways to make the next festival even better. For example, the biggest change for this year’s festival is a result of feedback that we received regarding accessibility for people with disabilities. This year, access and parking will be markedly improved, hopefully encouraging even more participation for everyone.
    Next year, there will inevitably be other pressing needs to be discussed and worked out. We are constantly striving to have the best possible festival for all of our citizens and as always we will make     changes to accommodate any areas that need improvement.
    The people responsible for the overwhelming success of the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival for the past 26 years are all around you. They are your neighbors, your friends, colleagues and parishioners.
The Dogwood Festival is April 25-27 and we are planning the biggest party in Fayetteville and we certainly hope to see you there! For more information about this year’s Dogwood Festival, please contact 910.323.1934 or visit us at  www.faydogwoodfestival.com.
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