FAIRFIELD — The first blossoming was humble — just a few card tables set up under dogwood trees in Greenfield Hill in 1936 by the Greenfield Hill Improvement Society.

Today, the annual Dogwood Festival, organized under auspices of the historic Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, is an annual tradition of Fairfield’s springtime that attracts thousands over a three-day span.

Not only does the event draw visitors from out of state, Greenfield Hill’s famous pink and white dogwoods once got a visit, and praise, from then-First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. After viewing the petal canopy adorning the trees, Roosevelt wrote she had seen “an avenue of pink and white dogwoods on Greenfield Hill such as I have never seen anywhere else in this country.”

From its early days, when the improvement society members sold aprons, potholders, flowers and pickles, the festival has grown to include music, tours, artisan and crafter booths, antiques, luncheons and a popular tag sale.

Here’s some of what the May 7, 1997, Fairfield Citizen had to say about that year’s Dogwood Festival:

Mother’s Day weekend is always special and this year the entire family can enjoy a fun-filled time at the annual Dogwood Festival, which takes place from Saturday, May 10 through May 13 at the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church.

In its 62nd year, this festival offers something for every age group and interest. Although the estival, which is sponsored by the Women’s Guild of the church, runs for four days, the best days for children and family are on the weekend when there are many specially planned events for children.

The Dogwood Festival celebrates the coming of spring and the flowering of thousands of pink and white dogwoods that surround the historic church. The family can enjoy the bucolic setting, picnic in the shade of the dogwoods, or meander around the historic church grounds watching numerous artisans at work at their crafts.

Back again this year is Miss Molly’s Kettle Korn demonstration. This 200-year-old historic method of popcorn making will be going on throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.