Sunflower fest set for this weekend

RUTLEDGE -- The chance to zip line over a field of sunflowers doesn't come around every day, but you can do just that at the 12th Sunflower Farm Festival in Rutledge this weekend.

A 300-foot zip line is the festival's new attraction. The zip line will run right over the sunflower field.

"The primary reason we did the zip line, we were hoping it would bring more young people," said George Holt of Sunflower Farm.

Holt said festivals in the past have attracted as many as 9,000 people, and he expects as many this year, assuming the weather is nice. The event takes place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the farm, located at 1430 Durden Road in Rutledge.

The farm's 15 acres of sunflowers are "the tallest and prettiest that we've ever had probably," Holt said.

Live music, an artist's market, an antique tractor parade, food, a petting zoo, hay rides, kids activities and cut-your-own sunflowers are highlights of this year's festival.

Admission prices are $8 for adults, $5 for kids ages 4-12 and free for kids under 4. Tickets are good for the entire weekend. U.S. active duty military and veterans get in free. There is also a couples package for $15 and a family four-pack for $25.

The farm is open for sunflower cutting from 8 a.m. -- 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays until July 14, but will be closed this Friday and will close at 5 p.m. during the festival.

For more information, visit www.sunflowerfarmfestival.com or call 706-557-2870.