The World's Largest Flower Show Is Heading Outdoors for the First Time in Nearly 200 Years

The nearly 200-year-old Philadelphia Flower Show is moving outdoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

flowers outside at Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Photo: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Like many things, the Philadelphia Flower Show is headed outdoors.

The 2021 edition of the nearly 200-year-old show is scheduled for June 5 to 13 at FDR Park, a sprawling South Philadelphia space known for its ponds and lagoons, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which organizes the event, has announced. The park was designed by the Olmsted brothers, landscape architects whose other credits include New York's Central Park and Chicago's Humboldt Park.

Next year will mark the first year the show, usually held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia, will be hosted outside. The Philadelphia Flower Show draws an estimated 250,000 visitors each year, according to Visit Philadelphia, the city's tourism bureau. The event bills itself as the world's largest indoor flower show.

Even with coronavirus vaccinations on the horizon, organizers decided to move the event outdoors because it's unclear just how long it will take to roll out vaccination programs, the Associated Press reported. COVID-19 numbers have been rising in Pennsylvania, according to the latest available data.

Philadelphia has so far reported approximately 77,000 coronavirus cases and over 2,100 deaths. More broadly, Pennsylvania has reported around 443,00 COVID-19 cases and nearly 12,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Last year's Philadelphia Flower Show was held indoors in March before COVID-19 shut down most major events in the U.S. Last year's theme was Riviera Holiday, a celebration of coastal Europe. Much of Europe closed to U.S. tourists in April.

This year's theme is Habitat: Nature's Masterpiece.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles