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Life and living: Flower festival fun

April showers bring May flowers. We’re not “dandelion”—we’ve gathered (see what we did there?) the best flower festivals the world has to offer. From Portland, Oregon, to Medellín, Colombia, we’re head “clover” heels in love with these floral displays.

Portland Rose Festival

Portland, Oregon

Founded in 1907 as a way to put Portland on the map as the Summer Capital of the World, the Rose Festival has now become world famous. It boasts three popular parades, a three-weekend urban fair and its iconic Rose Festival Court, comprised of 15 outstanding students chosen from Portland Metro-area high schools.

California Poppy Festival™

Lancaster, California

Lancaster is home to the largest crop of California’s state flower (i.e., the poppy), so where else would their famous festival be held? Attendees can enjoy live entertainment, a beer garden, food, live animal exhibits and over 200 local vendors during this three-day festival.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Mount Vernon, Washington

Officially inaugurated in 1984, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival came to be because spectators were coming by the thousands to view the tulips on display. The festival has expanded to 30 days full of art shows, the Downtown Mount Vernon Street Fair, endless food and beverage, and a driving tour through four rotating tulip gardens.

North Carolina Azalea Festival

Wilmington, North Carolina

The Azalea Festival took root back in 1934 but did not come to fruition until 1948. Since then, the festival has grown into five days of live music, dance parties, street fairs, boxing competitions, volleyball tournaments and a parade—all culminating with a spectacular fireworks display.

Bluebonnet Festival

Chappell Hill, Texas

Touted as the only “official” bluebonnet festival in Texas, it began as a small-town antique festival. Chappell Hill is located between Austin and Houston and produces one of the state’s largest festivals with picturesque landscapes, live music, arts and crafts vendors, and family friendly activities.

Daffodil Festival

Meriden, Connecticut

The Daffodil Festival began back in 1978 as a simple community event and is now Meriden’s largest—and most colorful—festival boasting over 600,001 daffodils in bloom during peak season. This two-day festival includes a parade with over 3,000 participants, kiddie rides, arts and crafts, food tents, and musical entertainment.

Batalla de Flores

Laredo, Spain

The ‘battle of the flowers’ has been running since 1908. Large and small floats parade around the Alameda Miramar (Laredo’s central park), covered entirely with flowers—primarily carnations and dahlias—to bid farewell to the summer season. Visitors can peruse street markets and listen to brass bands as they walk throughout the city.

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek

The Netherlands

This week-long festival at the end of April hosts over one million visitors each year. The highlight of the event is the parade that travels a 42-kilometer route (26 miles), with music from marching bands and entertainment aboard each float. Spectators can watch volunteers create the flower-covered floats by hand as part of the festival.

Feria de las Flores

Medellín, Colombia

Feria de las Flores (The Flower Festival) is considered Medellín’s most important traditional cultural event. There’s something for every flower lover with peasant parades, flower competitions, folklore shows, horse fairs and live music.

Save up your “peonies” and try to attend a festival near you. “Be leaf” us, they’ll make your “daisy.”

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