From the long-standing traditional cherry blossom season in D.C. to Chiang Mai’s annual Flower Festival and the Chelsea Flower Show in London, showstopping floral celebrations have been captivating communities across the world for decades. While some date back to age-old traditions, the U.S. has seen a new wave of modern, urban flower festival pop-ups in two major cities—New York and Atlanta, Georgia. What seemed to have emerged in full-force post pandemic as a means to bring the beauty back to communal dining and group experiences has now taken on a life of its own, with more and more larger-than-life floral visuals and celebrations garnering local and national attention as they transform cities, properties, and storefronts with luminous, brilliant botanicals—nature’s most delicate gems.
In the spring of 2022, Atlanta’s Buckhead Village—a vibrant community of boutiques, restaurants, and gallery collectives in the heart of Atlanta’s iconic Buckhead neighborhood— debuted its inaugural Bodacious Blooms Flower Festival, an interactive weekend-long celebration of spring. Together with neighboring properties and a lineup of industry heavy-hitters including New York’s conceptual silk flower studio Floratorium and renowned florist Canaan Marshall of HBO Max’s “Full Bloom,” the property transformed into a walkable floral nirvana, complete with grandiose floral installations, workshops from master floral designers, colorful activations from district restaurants and retailers, promotions, and photo-ready moments. The festival is set to return for a second year this spring, kicking off on Thursday, April 27, and running through Sunday, April 30, 2023.
The community-wide festival invites visitors to join in for a weekend of far-out floral installations, hands-on floral workshops from master floral designers, stellar in-store activations, exclusive promotions, and funky photo-ready moments—all vibrantly designed to celebrate spring in style.
Global Flower Festivals for Your Bucket List
These five flower festivals go beyond parades. They not only celebrate the botanical but also present fantastic, public floral installations for visitors to enjoy.
Bodacious Blooms Flower Festival
Bodacious Blooms may be the newbie to the urban flower festival scene, but it launched with a bang! Installations from Floratorium, Pinker Times, and Canaan Marshall transformed the Buckhead Village area, a vibrant community of shopkeepers and merchants, boutiques and bartenders, and restaurants and gallery collectives in the heart of Atlanta’s iconic Buckhead neighborhood. In 2023, the festival’s 2nd year featured NYC-based designer East Olivia, as well as Canaan Marshall who brought his signature sense of wonder and fun to the community-wide event.
2024 Dates to Be Announced
Learn more about Bodacious Blooms Flower Festival at buckheadvillagedistrict.com.
Chelsea in Bloom
Occurring at the same time as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and produced by Cadogan and the Royal Horticultural Society, Chelsea in Bloom participants decorate local restaurants, shop exteriors, streets, and parks with fabulous floral installations. Each year has a theme, and displays are judged for prizing. This year’s theme is “Flowers on Film”- inspiring designers to draw on their favorite movie memories.
Next dates: May 22-27, 2023
Learn more about Chelsea in Bloom at https://www.chelseainbloom.co.uk/
L.E.A.F Festival of Flowers
Another not-to-miss floral event is the Manhattan-based flower festival L.E.A.F. Established in 2019, last year’s festivities offered a three-day summer affair across the Meatpacking District with large-scale floral displays by some of New York’s leading floral designers, floral plinths throughout the district and a European-style flower market, as well as retail and hospitality activations and experiences around the neighborhood.
The week of May 14, 2023, L.E.A.F announced that they were pausing the 2023 event. On an Instagram post they said, “We remain committed to our original intention to provide a platform that spotlights New Yorker’s incredible design talent. We hope LEAF will be back again next year, blossoming bigger and better than ever!”
Next dates: 2024
Learn more about L.E.A.F at https://www.leafflowershow.com/
The Flower Carpet of Brussels
Every other year since 1971, a Flower Carpet blankets Brussels’ Grand-Place, considered the most beautiful central square in the world, with a stunning expanse of begonias, dahlias, and other flowers. Each carpet is 1680 square meters—more than 18,000 square feet)—and designed around a theme. 100 + volunteers lay out the blossoms and lawns over six hours, and the carpet is displayed for four days.
Next dates: August 15 – 18, 2024
Learn more about the Flower Carpet at https://www.flowercarpet.brussels/en.
Flora International Flower Festival
Each October, six internationally known artists and floral designers compete, creating site-specific, botanical installations in Cordoba’s famed courtyards. Past competitors include names well known to FLOWER readers such as Maurice Harris and Shane Connolly. In addition to the professional works, there are amateur competitions, workshops, and additional programming centered around the intersections of art and nature. The event is organized by ZIZAI Hotels and sponsored by the Cordoba City Council.
Next dates: October 16-26, 2023
Learn more about Flora at https://festivalflora.com/en/.
Sponsored by Buckhead Village
About Buckhead Village
Serving up modern, chic food and fashion in the heart of Atlanta’s iconic Buckhead neighborhood, Buckhead Village is a shopping and dining destination featuring retail from the world’s top fashion houses and emerging artisans, decadent global culinary adventures, as well as wellness classes and experiences. Owned by real estate investment and management firm Jamestown, the property offers guests a stylish and welcoming haven with cobblestone streets, outdoor communal spaces with lush greenery and bold, European-inspired design. For more information, please visit www.buckheadvillagedistrict.com.