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The coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellation of many traditions and long-running events all across the country. Organizers of the Philadelphia Flower Show were not about to see an interruption in its 192-year history, so they’ve reimagined it for 2021.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society announced this week that the show will move outdoors for the first time. The event will be held June 5-13, 2021, at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park (FDR Park) in South Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Flower Show attracts up to 250,000 people each year. The location change comes with a change on the calendar as well, moving from its traditional late winter date.

“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the outdoors and offer joy and beauty after a year that has been marked by so many challenges,” said PHS Chief of Shows and Events Sam Lemheney. “This experience is a wonderful example of the enduring and combined power of green space, plants, and gardeners to create impact and inspiration.”

FDR Park

The show will take over 15 acres of the park at 1500 Pattison Avenue. The largest park in South Philadelphia at 348 acres, FDR Park sits near the Delaware River and features lakes, nature trails, historic architecture, athletic fields, a skatepark, a golf course, the American Swedish Historical Museum, and more.

The backdrop will allow for a change in displays and presentations during the show, which has been held at the Philadelphia Convention Center for more than 20 years. The move will allow for new creative expression and horticultural displays, PHS officials said.

The show’s theme is 2021 will be Habitat: Nature’s Masterpiece, and will feature three distinct districts for visitors to explore. Each will feature plants, flowers, and design and gardening ideas for visitors to explore and encourage creativity for their own homes.

Safety First

The move was made with the pandemic in mind. Even though some of the country could be vaccinated by the time of the show, organizers are planning an event marked by social distancing and limited crowds.

“PHS has been working closely with event experts and city officials to play for a safe environment that will include timed and date-specific ticketing that limits attendance at any given time, and allows for social distancing and other safety precautions,” the PHS said.

How You Can Go

Tickets for the show will go on sale in January. People can get early access to discounted or free tickets by becoming a PHS member.

The Philadelphia Flower Show was first held in 1829 and is now believed to be the world’s largest horticultural competition. While participants vie for blue ribbons and best of show designations, visitors can view the displays and take part in curated gardening activities.

The Philadelphia Flower Show has been honored in the past as the world’s best overall event by the International Festivals and Events Association.

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