The Phoenixville Jaycees were chartered in 1952 and are the second oldest chapter in the state of Pennsylvania. Attempts to charter the chapter in 1942 and 1944 failed because all members were drafted during World War II. The third time proved to be a charm thanks to the efforts of Winn Cook, who submitted the charter each time and who went on to become the 5th President of the Pennsylvania Jaycees.
The Dogwood Parade and Festival has become part of the rubric of Phoenixville since it first started as a means of celebrating the arrival of spring and Armed Forces day. In fact, the first seven Dogwood queens earned their crowns by selling the most war bonds during World War II and the first Dogwood parades were one-day festivals ceremoniously held on Armed Forces Day. Instead of rides and games, though, the first Dogwood festivals offered only pony rides and homemade food from local residents. Following World War II and the Korean Conflict, the Phoenixville Jaycees continued the tradition by hosting an annual pageant to decide the Dogwood queen. As the years went on, the festival grew from one to four days during the 1970s and ‘80s to a six-day festival in the 1990s. The Dogwood Festival and Parade has come a long way since its humble beginnings and is now the second largest parade in Chester County, attracting more than 10,000 people annually.
Currently accepting applications for the 2014 Dogwood Pageant.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Thursday, Jnauary 9, 2014
Samuel K. Barkley Elementary School
Photos Courtesy of Phoenixville DOES
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