According to Jordan Harris Poole of the Paradise Garden Foundation, the final steps of the National Register Process have been completed by the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.
“This status of Historic Significance will help greatly with future fundraising endeavors,” he said. “Paradise Gardens meet criteria for the National Register due to its association with a significant figure in history, Howard Finster. The Nomination was completed with assistance from Dr. Keith Herbert who wrote much of the draft nomination.”
Poole said the listing is a unique listing as it one of few Outsider Art sites listed on the National Register in Georgia the other site listed is Pasaquan in Buena Vista.
The listing was celebrated on March 31 with a workday at Paradise Gardens, with volunteers from Summerville, Rome, and Atlanta helping to clean and restore some of the site’s features.
A grand reopening of Paradise Gardens is scheduled for May 5 when the site reopens to the public officially.
Finster Fest will return this year to Dowdy Park in Downtown Summerville on May 5 and 6 and will offer tours of the Garden with live music and entertainment in the Garden during the weekend festivities.
Finster Fest began many years ago to showcase the work of Howard Finster and to offer a venue to folk artists to sell their art. For the past five years, artist Whitney Nave Jones of Chattanooga has organized the festival and she will continue to partner with the foundation this year to produce the 2012 Finster Fest.
For more information about Finster Fest 2012, visit online at paradisegardenfoundation.org or search for Finster Fest on Facebook.