Instead of rides and games, though, the first Dogwood festivals offered only pony rides and homemade food from local residents. Following World War II and the Korean Conflict, the Phoenixville Jaycees continued the tradition by hosting an annual pageant to decide the Dogwood queen. As the years went on, the festival grew from one to four days during the 1970s and ‘80s to a six-day festival in the 1990s. The Dogwood Festival and Parade has come a long way since its humble beginnings and is now the second largest parade in Chester County, attracting more than 10,000 people annually.
The Dogwood Parade and Festival has become part of the rubric of Phoenixville since it first started as a means of celebrating the arrival of spring and Armed Forces day. In fact, the first seven Dogwood queens earned their crowns by selling the most war bonds during World War II and the first Dogwood parades were one-day festivals ceremoniously held on Armed Forces Day.