The Philadelphia Flower Show will make outdoor debut at FDR Park in 2021

Orchids on display at the main exhibit of the 2018 Flower Show in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Orchids on display at the main exhibit of the 2018 Flower Show in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The Philadelphia Flower Show, also known as the “the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event,” is headed outdoors in 2021 — a first in its almost 200-year run.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which hosts the annual event, said the show’s new home will be FDR Park and will take place June 5 to 13.

The flower show has typically brought some 250,000 people from all over the world to the Pennsylvania Convention Center every year. The 2020 flower show took place at the end of February and early March, narrowly missing travel restrictions and other social distancing guidelines implemented once the pandemic reached the region.

Still, PHS had to make a quick decision this year regarding its flagship event, which helps the organization fund its programs, at a time when it was still unclear when the U.S. would have a vaccine available.

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In August, Sam Lemheney, PHS Chief of Shows and Events, announced the “early decision” to move the flower show outdoors due to the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Health officials in Pennsylvania and New Jersey anticipate the first wave of vaccinations to reach the states this winter, but it’s unclear what the pandemic will look like in June and what, if any, mitigation efforts will be in place.

In its announcement to members Monday, PHS said it would “follow all local health and safety guidelines and provide every necessary precaution at that time.”

“We are working closely with our colleagues at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and a host of planning experts including the Department of Public Health in Philadelphia to develop the Flower Show into a safe, beautiful, and extraordinary outdoor experience for everyone,” read the announcement.

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The show’s 2021 theme is “HABITAT, Nature’s Masterpiece” and more details about the event and its displays are slated to be announced in the coming months.

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