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Editor and Contributing Writer

Feature Photograph: Vivian Olivier, Executive Director of the Sunset Herb and Garden Festival. (Photograph by Freddie Herpin.)

When it comes to attending the Sunset Herb and Garden Festival, it’s always best to arrive early.

That’s the advice that Vivian Olivier, executive director for the event, is giving for those wanting to attend the 25th annual event scheduled Saturday beginning at 8 a.m.

 “Last year people were parking on the (Interstate 49) overpass. We usually expect between 1,500 and 2,000, but last year we had closer to 2,500 people,” Olivier said in a St. Landry Now interview.

Olivier, who is also chairman of the Sunset Garden Club, expects 100 vendors to be available at the venue which is located on Marie Street near the former Sunset High School and  the Town Hall.

Admission for those attending the festival is $5. Olivier said the one-day festival will begin at 9 a.m. and last until 4 p.m.

Olivier said the festival has become popular due to the variety of plants available for sale. Some of the plants are indigenous to Louisiana, Olivier added.

On Saturday Olivier said vendors have paid $100 each to set up their booths.

The St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission website is also promoting the festival. The website indicates that in addition to plants and flowers, vendors will sell yard art and herbal bath and body products.

Nearly all the proceeds from the festival are donated to a variety of local non-profit groups, Olivier said.

“We give money to the town, the fire departments from Sunset and Grand Coteau, St. Jude’s organizations assisting with Alzheimer’s and autism, organizations locally that fight cancer,” Olivier said.

The parking problem will be facilitated this year said Olivier, by providing golf cart shuttles for those arriving and leaving the event, Olivier said.