Historic Philadelphia Flower Show Celebrates 100 Years of National Parks
February 22, 2016
Explore America, March 5–13, 2016
The 2016 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, “Explore America,” will celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service and our country’s majestic landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture on March 5-13 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
From Acadia and Cape Cod, to Valley Forge and Shenandoah, to Yellowstone, Yosemite and other iconic parks and historic sites, American beauty and glory will serve as inspiration for exhibits created by the nation’s premier floral and garden designers.
“The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is honored that the Philadelphia Flower Show has been chosen by the National Park Service as a centennial event marking this amazing milestone,” Sam Lemheney, PHS Chief of Shows & Events, said. “This is a wonderful partnership, and ‘Explore America’ will be an extraordinary show.”
“The National Park Service and PHS share a commitment to introduce new generations to the beauty of nature, to be good stewards of our environment, to honor the contributions of individuals to our history, and to build vibrant communities,” said Cynthia MacLeod, Superintendent of Independence National Historical Park. “The 2016 Flower Show will be a fun and glorious event and a highlight of the NPS’s Centennial Year.”
In the Flower Show’s acres of trails, exhibits and attractions, guests will discover the range of horticulture in the national landscape, including the rainbow of wildflowers, desert blooms, coastal flora, verdant meadows, fragrant pinelands, and ancient redwoods.
The Flower Show will also tell the diverse stories that forged the United States with exhibits inspired by the nation’s monuments and places where history happened. “Explore America” will spotlight Independence National Historical Park, Lincoln’s birthplace, Liberty Island, and other sites honoring our national heritage.
Visitors will start their Flower Show adventure in the “Big Timber Lodge,” an interpretation of classic park architecture of wood and stone, enhanced by Native American-inspired art, sculpted animals, floral totems, and a dazzling waterfall. Spectacular imagery spanning the breadth of the park system will come to life on multiple overhead screens, as sounds of thundering bison and songbirds transport visitors into the wild.
Guests will have the opportunity to follow three trails through the show floor, leading them to exhibits that exemplify the natural beauty, history, and culture of the sites maintained by the National Park Service. Flower Show “explorers” will be able to locate stops along the trails on the show map, and the exhibit signs will denote each park’s significance.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the National Park Service are natural partners, sharing a common mission to protect and care for natural resources and preserve green spaces. In 2016, the National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of sharing America’s 408 national parks sites, and helping people make meaningful connections to them. Through “Explore America,” PHS and the Park Service are engaging those who know and love the parks, and inviting a new generation to discover the special places that belong to us all.
In the “Find Your Park Pavilion” at the Flower Show, families can meet Park Rangers from around the country in person and by webcast, explore parks and gardens throughout the U.S. and in their own backyards, and become part of the Junior Ranger program. Activities will include Ranger talks and rewards that include Ranger badges and a new National Park Service trading card created especially for the Flower Show.
Guests will be inspired to climb a mountain, ford a stream, hike trails, and pitch camp in the exhibits and special events of the 2016 Flower Show.
Families will marvel at the Flower Show’s new Railway Garden – powered by Amtrak with Bachmann Trains – which will feature a vast display of model locomotives and rail cars rumbling through the familiar sites of a miniaturized American landscape. Other favorite show features will include “Butterflies Live!,” a rare opportunity to interact with domestic and exotic varieties; and Make & Take, where everyone can create a Flower Show keepsake.
The new “Base Camp,” in the Convention Center’s Grand Hall, will be an indoor playground of attractions, shopping, dining, live music and Fine Wine & Good Spirits tastings. A giant Flower Show Pop Up Pub Garden where guests can refresh between explorations of the Flower Show.
Special events at the Show this year will include the “Cabin Fever Country Hoedown,” with country music and dancing on opening day, March 5; Wedding Wednesday, a fabulous bridal expo on March 9; Flowers After Hours, an evening of music and delicious sips on March 10; Fido Friday, an invitation to flower-loving canines and their human companions on March 11; and the Flower Show Jamboree, featuring activities for families including the Teddy Bear Tea, Junior Ranger Day, and special appearances on March 13.
The Flower Show also invites visitors to meet garden, and design experts and vote for winners in exciting, real-time “design-offs.” In the Design Gallery and throughout the Show, guests will take away innovative ideas for outdoor spaces inspired by diverse American regions, home decorating concepts borrowed from historic settings, and other creative tips they can bring to their own home and garden.
Take in the view. Leave your worries behind. The 2016 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, “Explore America,” will be a grand adventure.
ABOUT THE FLOWER SHOW
The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, and features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers. Started in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the show introduces the newest plant varieties, garden and design concepts, and organic and sustainable practices.
In addition to the major garden displays, the Flower Show hosts world-renowned competitions in horticulture and artistic floral arranging, gardening presentations and demonstrations, special events, a mammoth indoor Marketplace, and Bloom Philly Festival, a citywide celebration.
The Premier Sponsor of the 2016 Flower Show is Subaru, and the Exclusive Sponsor is Bank of America. Official Sponsors are AAA, Acme, Bartlett Tree Experts, Belgard, Green Mountain Energy, and Tourism Ireland. Supporting sponsors are Amtrak and SugarHouse Casino. Contributing sponsors are AARP, Cruise Planners, Espoma, LeafFliter, Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing, Stash Tea, Stella Artois, and Verizon FiOS.
The Philadelphia Flower Show has been honored as the best event in the world by the International Festivals & Events Association, competing with events such as the Kentucky Derby Festival, Tournament of Roses Parade, Indianapolis 500 Festival, and other international celebrations.
Proceeds from the Flower Show benefit the year-round programs of PHS that have become national models of urban greening, including City Harvest, which creates green jobs and supports a network of community gardens that raise fresh produce for families in need; Philadelphia LandCare, which has transformed and maintains more than 11 million square feet of vacant land in the city; and Plant One Million, a tri-state campaign to restore the region’s tree canopy.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1827, that connects people with horticulture, and together we create beautiful, healthy and sustainable communities. PHS offers programs and events for gardeners of all levels, and works with volunteers, organizations, agencies and businesses to create and maintain vibrant green spaces. For information, visit PHSonline.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. The centennial will kick off a second century of the National Park Service’s stewardship of America’s 408 national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs. The National Park Service invites a new generation of Americans to discover what national parks and other public lands mean to them through the “Find Your Park” campaign. Visit nps.gov or findyourpark.com or follow #findyourpark.