East Passyunk’s Garden Days will put a spring in your step

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Spring in the city brings a plethora of floral activities spanning from the Philadelphia Flower Show to the Cherry Blossom Festival at Fairmount Park, but now one South Philly neighborhood is taking its own spin on the season.

East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District (EPABID) recently started a new three-week event titled “Garden Days,” which ties into the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s (PHS) Bloom Philly! celebration ahead of the Philadelphia Flower Show.

For Bloom!, the regional competition will be sticking to its normal programming, inviting businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area to join in on celebrating the upcoming Philadelphia Flower Show, set for June. An assortment of different businesses—both directly in the city and the suburbs—join every year, but this go-around will also feature new elements surrounding the theme of the PFS this year, “Habitat: Nature’s Masterpiece.”

For the Flower Show on the other hand, the local event has gained recognition around the country and the world in years past and is now officially known as the nation’s largest and the world’s longest-running horticultural event, and 2021 will be historic in terms of venue as well. In response to the ongoing pandemic, the move outdoors will allow the Philadelphia Horticultural Society to present the show safely. Philadelphians who purchase tickets for their preferred date between June 5 to 13 will be able to check out the showcase at the historic Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park (FDR Park) in South Philadelphia.

But East Passyunk’s event ties specifically in with the Bloom Philly! contest. According to a release, matching up with the theme of “Habitat: Nature’s Masterpiece”, East Passyunk Avenue’s independently owned shops, restaurants, and bars will showcase direct and thematic connections to the positive impact that plants and gardening have on our communities and lived environment. In addition, EPABID will present a number of socially distanced interactive opportunities over the course of the campaign.

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“Spring is the perfect time to safely celebrate everything in bloom, and we’re excited to have East Passyunk Avenue be part of PHS’ Bloom Philly! campaign, calling attention to pollinators, landscapes, and ecosystems,” said EPABID Executive Director Adam Leiter in a statement. “We’re looking forward to seeing great verdant visuals, and having the public enjoy fun and informative events along with all the delicious flavors that the Avenue is known for.”

The horticultural events happening down in East Passyunk differ in what they offer, but all stick to a central theme.

Some of the events did kick off, including a special spring dance demo with Society Hill Dance Academy (1919 East Passyunk Ave.) on Mother’s Day, but more pop-up music performances will be hosted along the Avenue throughout the month as well.

One eye-catching aspect of Garden Days is the large-scale selfie station collaboration between Creations By Coppola, Ill Exotics, and Urban Jungle at the Singing Fountain. There are also plantings and decorations at various points along the Avenue including the Gateway at Broad Street and the Boxer Statue at Mifflin Street. Philadelphians can look for locations decked out in floral and plant décor to take their pictures, which are encouraged throughout the three week period.

The East Passyunk area is also well known for its food and drink options, as as the release states, guests can snack and sip on specialty menu items from restaurants and bars highlighting ingredients such as honey, flowers, sustainable greens, organic items, and more. Avenue retail and service shops are also in on the action with home goods, toys, clothing and special services. A digital scavenger hunt will be set up along the Avenue with images of bees, flowers, plants, and more displayed in the windows and doors of businesses, and a bonus raffle contest will be available for those who purchase a PHS Flower Show ticket to enter a weekly raffle drawing with a chance to win a $25 gift certificate. Pop-up classes and events will also take place both in-person and online throughout the campaign. Philadelphians can check back for details on these interactive happenings coming soon, including speakers and additional partners.

Along with the Bloom Philly! window decorating competition, which is happening across the city, Garden Days will also see East Passyunk Avenue BID holding their own voting competition for the best-decorated business window and restaurant streetery setups incorporating flowers and plants.

For more information about Garden Days or EPABID, check out their website visiteastpassyunk.com or follow EPABID at Facebook.com/eastpassyunk, Twitter or Instagram.

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