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4th Annual Maine Flower Show Cancelled Due to Coronavirus
PORTLAND, Maine (March 13, 2020) – Maine’s largest flower show will not open its doors on March 25-29 due to public health concerns around the spread of coronavirus in Maine and New England. Now in its fourth year, The Maine Flower Show is one of the state’s largest events, drawing nearly 20,000 attendees and more than 100 vendors from across the country.
The Maine Flower Show is put on annually by the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association (MELNA), the nonprofit trade group that supports Maine’s large horticulture industry. Executive Director Don Sproul spent much of the past week weighing options for the event, with the health and well being of attendees, volunteers and members in mind.
“We have been meeting regularly to make sure we are doing the right thing for our industry and the thousands of flower lovers that come to The Maine Flower Show each year,” said Sproul. “On Thursday morning we made the hard decision to cancel, and Governor Janet Mills’ address on Thursday afternoon confirmed that we made the right decision. We called an emergency committee meeting to take the official vote to cancel this morning.”
While all events of more than 250 people have been advised to cancel, The Maine Flower Show presented unique challenges given the demographics of attendees. More than 30 percent of visitors are aged 65 and over, and roughly 20 percent come from out of state. Sproul noted that even in the absence of the Maine CDC’s advice, this demographic raised concerns based on the increased risk of coronavirus to seniors.
Since 2016, The Maine Flower Show has offered a yearly glimpse of Spring and opportunity to see color and bloom in the last long days of winter. Each year hundreds of flowers and plants are specially grown to bloom early and be used in the show’s 12 immersive display gardens. Show coordinators are working with the local nurseries to develop a plan for those flowers, as well as ways to encourage Mainers to embrace what may be an early planting season.
“First and foremost, we want everyone in Maine to be safe,” said Sproul. “But with social distancing now in place, it is a wonderful time to get outside, get in the dirt and plant something! We can all benefit from the fresh air, sunshine and movement while still following CDC guidance.”
The Maine Flower Show plans to return in 2021 at Thompsons Point with dates TBD. For more information on the cancellation or to learn more about ticketholder refunds, please visit https://maineflowershow.com/.
About The Maine Flower Show
Owned and produced by members of Maine’s horticulture industry, The Maine Flower Show is one of the biggest gardening and horticultural shows in the region. The Maine Flower Show boasts an exciting new location at Thompson’s Point, with vastly more square footage of plants, hardscape, arbor and garden supplies than any recent local garden show. The Maine Flower Show is encouraging and facilitating participation in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, and provides presentations and seminars throughout the show on all aspects of horticulture. For more information please visit www.maineflowershow.com.
About Maine Landscape & Nursery Association
Established in 1970, the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association (MELNA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and promotion of its members throughout the industry, including financial support of secondary horticultural education and product research, website connectivity, media representation, and a professional certification program. For more information, please visit www.melna.org and www.plantsomethingmaine.org.