Photo: Connecticut Flower & Garden Show / Contributed Photo
The longtime producer of the Connecticut Flower & Garden Show today announced the cancelation of its February 2021 event, in response to uncertainty about the impact of the COVID-19 on events during the next five months.
Considered one of New England’s top flower shows, the 40th annual edition was scheduled to take place from Thursday, Feb. 25, through Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
“This has been a very difficult decision but we believe that, as of now, we would be unable to produce a successful Connecticut Flower & Garden Show at the Connecticut Convention Center this February,” Kristie Gonsalves, President of North East Expos, Inc. and a past president of the National Association of Consumer Show Producers, said in a news release. “I want to be sure we have a safe and profitable environment for all and it would be unfair to ask attendees and exhibitors — many of them small family businesses, like mine — to jeopardize their health and financial well-being just to continue with a tradition … even this beautiful, joyful one.
“Our show utilizes every inch of space in the convention center’s Exhibition Hall as well as several seminar rooms, and employing socially distanced booths, one-way aisles, and limiting the number of people inside at any one time would not only be difficult, but could affect the bottom line of hundreds of quality exhibitors, landscapers and vendors, some of whom travel here from across the country,” Gonsalves said. “They count on our show to generate over 40,000 eager attendees so they can display, promote and sell their services and products. For them, substantially reduced foot traffic would be extremely detrimental.
“An expansive live garden show like this involves months and months of advance production, including the confirmations of booth participants and expert speakers, with landscapers and members of the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut preparing eight to nine months in advance to create impressive displays and exhibits,” Gonsalves added “Instead, we now will move forward and focus on growing a tremendous 2022 Connecticut Flower & Garden Show — just 17 months from now on Thursday, February 24 through Sunday, February 27, 2022.”
Covering almost three acres, the popular Connecticut Flower & Garden Show is designed for house, apartment and condo dwellers alike and features: over an acre of gardens in full bloom by professional landscape designers and nonprofit organizations; the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s 12,000-sq.-ft. Standard Flower Show with more than 500 entries; over 300 booths of displays, activities, and shopping by exhibitors and vendors from across the U.S.; and 80+ hours of expert-led seminars.
Gonsalves’ North East Expos also produces the successful Connecticut Fishing & Outdoor Show at Mohegan Sun and the Northeast Fishing & Hunting Show at the Connecticut Convention Center. No decision has been made yet about the status of those 2021 shows.