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Four Fantastic Flower Festivals Across the US

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It’s springtime, so that means buds are popping up everywhere after a long winter. In celebration of the explosion of color that’s upon us, we’re looking at fun flower festivals across the US. Here are a few places to visit for a bloomin’ good time!

The Rose Festival – Portland, OR

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This annual festival leaves Portland smelling like a, well…rose. It started over 100 years ago as a way to drive tourism to the area and has grown into a week-long event with four parades (featuring floral floats) and tons of rose-related events. There’s even a royal rose court that attends all of the events. With all of these great elements, it’s no surprise that the Portland Rose Festival was named “Best Festival in the World” by the International Festivals & Events Association in 2011.

The Poppy Festival – Lancaster, CA

Poppies always bring to mind that iconic scene in the Wizard of Oz. However, we doubt you’ll find yourself dozing off at this annual festival in honor of California’s state flower. The Poppy Festival’s motto is “Always Something New,” and it couldn’t be more accurate. From live music and food trucks to street artists and performers, the city of Lancaster really knows how to mix things up. This year, the festival hosted Architects of Air, installation artists who have been honing their craft for over 25 years. They created a huge luminaria sculpture dedicated to the theme of trees, and referencing architectural themes from various countries and time periods (think domes, cathedrals, spires, columns, and winding pathways) — pretty impressive!

Tulip Time – Holland, MI

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Proud of its Dutch roots, the delightful city of Holland started the Tulip Time Festival in 1927. At that time, 100,000 tulips were planted across town, and visitors came from all over the country to take in the beautiful sight. Since 1927, the festival has grown into a week-long celebration featuring three parades, traditional Dutch music, dancing (with beautiful handmade costumes), art, food, and more. It’s even more of a spectacle now as the tulips have grown in density, too — there are now over five million blooming throughout the area!

The Lilac Festival – Rochester, NY & The Tree Peony Festival – Linwood, NY

Head to upstate New York for a two-for-one summer flower festival extravaganza. Rochester smells incredible throughout the month of May (and sometimes into June) thanks to the thousands of lilac bushes that are in full bloom. Outdoor concerts, a 10k or 5k run, and a craft beverage expo round out the festival fun. Next, head a bit further north to the Tree Peony Festival at the historic district that’s Linwood Gardens. Located on an estate near the border of Livingston and Genesee counties, this annual festival is a feast for the eyes (it will also please history buffs).

Is there a flower festival that takes place in your neck of the woods? Have you been to one that was particularly impressive? Tell us more about it in the comments section.

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About the author

Jen Westmoreland Bouchard

Jen Westmoreland Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing (www.luciditewriting.com) and Bouchard Design Co. (www.boucharddesign.co).

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