East Coast Garden Center brings fall fun with Harvest Festival

Fall is upon us, and East Coast Garden Center in Millsboro is ready to kick off the season in style. This Saturday, Oct. 1, the garden center will host their fifth annual Harvest Festival, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., featuring a slew of activities to welcome the arrival of autumn.

“It’s always a big success,” said East Coast Garden Center owner and manager Valery Cordrey. “We try to bring something new and different, each year, too.”

This Saturday, guests can participate in a variety of activities, while perusing the 70 greenhouses spread across the garden center’s 15 acres.

“Beers and brats” will be available, featuring Georgetown-based microbrewery 16 Mile.

And, “mums” the word this weekend – literally – as fall favorites and other autumn plants and crops will be on display. Guest speaker David Ehrhart out of Bethesda, Md., will be on hand to discuss autumn decorating.

In addition, country line dancing, provided by Footlight Productions, hayrides, and a train club exhibit will all be set up for guests, too.

“We will have a lot of things set up,” said Cordrey. “We want to show people that we have a unique atmosphere and fun things to do. We’re always looking to get involved with the community.”

The Garden Center itself is 10 years old, but the company, which started as a landscaping and wholesale business, is nearly two decades in the making. Since the center’s debut, community involvement has been at the top of their list of priorities. Earlier this month, East Coast Garden Center was featured at the annual Nanticoke Indian Powwow.

Since the addition two years ago of the Cordrey Center, an events and banquet facility right on the premises, there have been a wide selection of events available to the public.

“I have always loved classes,” said Cordrey, “and we want to offer events to the public. In addition to this weekend’s ‘Beers and Brats,’ we’ve done ‘Conifers and Cabernet’ and ‘Wines and Roses.’ So much that we carry here can be incorporated with other things.”

Chef demonstrations, murder-mystery evenings and big-band mixers are just a few of the events that have taken place at the garden center. Weddings, receptions and other celebrations are often scheduled at the center, too.

Classes continue throughout the season and include topics such as autumn bulbs and hydrangea and rose care.

“We want to touch on everyone’s interests,” said Linda Forte, events coordinator at the Cordrey Center. “We can touch on a lot more interests other than flowers. The property offers the perfect venue for it.”

For information on upcoming events at East Coast Garden Center, including this Saturday’s Harvest Festival, visit www.eastcoastgardencenter.com or “Like” them on Facebook, or call them at (302) 945-3489. East Coast Garden Center and the Cordrey Center are located at 30366 Cordrey Road, just off of Route 24.