Flower Festivals

International Cherry Blossom Festival — Macon, Georgia


The International Cherry Blossom Festival is held in Macon, Georgia every spring. As Macon is known as the "Cherry Blossom Capital of the World," 300,000 Yoshino Cherry Trees bloom around downtown, college campuses, and the neighborhoods of Macon in late March every year. The festival lasts for ten days and features events for people of all ages. The festival is not associated with the National Cherry Blossom Festival held in Washington, D.C.

Lilac Festival, Rochester, New York

The Lilac Festival is an art, music, food and flora festival hosted annually in early May in Highland Park in Rochester, New York. It is the oldest festival of its kind in North America, drawing spectators from all over the globe. Highland Park possesses a huge collection of lilacs, featuring more than a thousand bushes and hundreds of different varieties. Early May is the season that lilacs are blooming in Rochester.

The festival was informally started in 1898 when 3,000 people came to the park one Sunday in May to see the lilacs. Since then the number of viewers has grown to over 500,000 and the festival plays out over the course of ten days. The modern day festival is started with a parade and frequently hosts concerts and other attractions during the week. The Highland Park arboretum is toured free of charge and is open to all visitors. The fields surrounding the arboretum host a myriad of vendor's tents and food stands. The festival ends each year with the annual Lilac 10K road race and 5K Family Fun Run. The 10K Course is USATF certified.

National Cherry Blossom Festival — Washington, D.C.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a spring celebration in Washington, D.C., commemorating the March 27, 1912, gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City to the city of Washington. Mayor Ozaki donated the trees in an effort to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and also celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations.


The effort to bring cherry trees to Washington, D.C., preceded the official planting by several decades. In 1885, Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore returned from her first trip to Japan and approached the U.S. Army Superintendent of the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds with the idea of planting cherry trees along the reclaimed waterfront of the Potomac River. Scidmore, who would go on to become the first female board member of the National Geographic Society, was rebuffed, though she would continue proposing the idea to every Superintendent for the next 24 years.


Philadelphia Flower Show — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia International Flower Show is an annual event produced by The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in early March. It is the "largest indoor flower show in the world" attracting more than 250,000 people annually. The show features large scale gardens, which range from elaborate landscaped displays to individual and club entries of a prize horticultural specimen. Each year there is an official theme which serves as the inspiration for most exhibits. The exhibits are submitted for judging in many categories, and are highly competitive.


The amateur division of the show known as the Competitive Classes often have an assigned theme, related to the overall show theme. The 2007 Show, Legends of Ireland, featured Pressed Plant Material (i.e. dried flower pictures) that "..incorporated a Celtic Knot.". The first weekend's Medium Niche theme was Wish You Were Here "Exhibitors will be sent Irish postcards for inspiration. A copy of the postcard will be mounted next to the exhibit." Entrants for that class typically have a mockup of the niche at home, where they practice assembling and lighting their entry in the months preceding the show. In a Challenge class, entrants bring only pruning shears, and must use show-provided materials to interpret a theme within a limited amount of time.


Other interesting flower festivals include Portland Rose Festival, Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival — Winchester, Virginia, Texas Rose Festival — Tyler, Texas,


Washington State Apple Blossom Festival — Wenatchee, Washington, Tulip Festival — Holland, Michigan.