Festival of Flowers

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by Enrique Viveros

The 17th annual Emerald Coast Flower and Garden Festival was held on April 9th through April 11th. This event was not held last year due to the COVID-19. However, this year has been busiest yet even with the rocky start of the weather on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday it was sunny and beautiful weather to showcase these flowers.

The flowers that were showcased at this event are plant that are Florida friendly, are not evasive, and built for this environment.

A variety of vendors and organizations came out to support this festival and to educate the community. The Pensacola Rose Society showcased their roses. King’s Creations was selling and doing live wood carvings. The Red Dog Crystals and gems showcased a variety of crystals from rose quartz to amethyst and some fossils they’ve found.

The Festival of Flowers started as a plant sale at Pensacola Junior College in 1998 by the Environmental Horticulture program at the Pensacola Campus. The following year this plant sale was moved to the Pensacola Junior College Milton Campus.

The Festival of Flowers hasn’t always been hosted on the PSC Milton campus. Administrative Officer of UF Mark Long said, “The first year began with the EH Department at the Pensacola Junior College and then a few short years later the Santa Rosa Master Gardeners and Friends of the Milton Gardens hosted the festival until 2016. In Spring of 2017 till present the University of Florida/IFAS in collaboration with Pensacola State Junior College began hosting the flower festival.”

The Administrative Support Assistant Robin Vickers is the coordinator of the festival and this is one of UF’s largest scholarship to their student club.

Long states, “UF’s programs are about enjoying Florida for today, tomorrow, and generations to come.”