10 Cool Flower Festivals in America (and Around the World)

Family Travel on 04.18.12
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Photo: Sandeep Pawar/Creative Commons

April showers bring May flowers, and a reason to celebrate. What better excuse for a party (or a family vacation) than the pretty petals that unfold as the weather warms?

1. Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival - Orlando, Florida

epcot flower festivalPhoto: Mommy Musings/Creative Commons

Each spring, Disney World welcomes master gardeners from all over the world to create elaborate horticultural displays. Find bushes and flowers sculpted into your favorite Disney characters dotted all around the Epcot park. The festival typically runs through March, April, and May.

2. Tulip Time - Pella, Iowa

tulip time pella flower festival
Photo: Pella Tulip Time

It's not often that Iowa makes a list of places worth traveling to, but the Tulip Time festival attracts visitors from all over the country each year during the first weekend in May. Tulip Time features two parades a day for 3 days and is a celebration of the city's thousands of tulips and Dutch heritage.

3. Tulip Time - Holland, Michigan

tulip time holland flower festival
Photo: Rachel Kramer/Creative Commons

This festival claims to be one of the largest of its kind. Hundreds of thousands of tulips bloom each spring with multiple varieties being planted each year to ensure the longest blooming season possible.

4. Philadelphia International Flower Show - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

philadelphia flower show
Photo: Dyogi/Creative Commons

Every March, the world's largest indoor flower exhibit takes place in Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Convention Center. Each year, The Flower Show exhibitors are inspired by a theme, like 2012's "Hawaii: Islands of Aloha," which resulted in the recreation of tropical islands right in the exhibit hall.

5. Biltmore Festival of Flowers - Asheville, North Carolina

biltmore flower festival
Photo: Biltmore Farms Hotel Group Blog

The Biltmore is one of America's grandest homes, making it the perfect setting for one of the country's most beautiful gardens. This year's festival will take place April 7 to May 20 and will feature over 100,000 tulips displayed across the 8,000-acre estate.

6. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - Mount Vernon, Washington

skagit valley tulip flower festival
Photo: Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Each year more than 1 million visitors trek to Northwest Washington between April 1st and 30th to see over 300 acres of tulips in bloom. The festival is presented as a driving tour, with flowers and activities spread across the Skagit Valley area.

7. National Cherry Blossom Festival - Washington, D.C.

national cherry blossom festival
Photo: Cliff1066/Creative Commons

The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival in America's capital city is actually a celebration of a flowering tree - specifically, the cherry trees planted around the Tidal Basin. These 3,000 trees were a gift from Tokyo's mayor in 1912 and represented friendship between the United States and Japan. Today, the city celebrates the trees blooming with music, food, and free activities for children.

Of course, Americans don't have a monopoly on fragrant festivities.

8. Canadian Tulip Festival - Ottawa, Canada

canadian tulip festival
Photo: Addy Cameron-Huff/Creative Commons

Although most people associate tulips with Holland, the world's largest tulip festival is actually held each year in Canada. The Dutch Royal Family, however, does contribute millions of bulbs to the festival, a thank you for the safe haven Canada offered the family during World War II.

9. Feria de las Flores - Medellín, Colombia

Feria de las FlowersPhoto: Medllín Visitors Bureau

This week-long festival celebrates Columbia's flower industry, which is thought to supply about 70% of America's purchased flowers. Between July 28 and August 7, elaborate floral arrangements known as Silletas are carried through city. Visitors can also enjoy street fair activities during the week of the flower festival.

10. The Flower Carpet -  Brussels, Belgium

brussels flower carpet
Photo: Yabby/Creative Commons

This unique event takes place every two years instead of annually, perhaps because of how much work it involves! Instead of a parade, florists come together to create a giant flower carpet from 70,000 begonias. The design is different every year, with the finished product being displayed in Brussel's main square every other August.

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