ATTLEBORO, Mass. – With New England’s ever-changing weather patterns and seasons, one of the first signs of spring is the Attleboro Arts Museum’s annual Flower Show, set for Thursday, March 23, to Sunday, March 26.
“It’s a celebration of spring,” said Mim Brooks Fawcett, executive director and chief curator.
It is the museum’s biggest fundraising event of the year, and after the past couple of years, there will be no COVID restrictions. Masks are encouraged but optional. Fawcett, said they are still trying to keep the special attractions limited to a certain number of people, so advanced registration is required and can be done on the museum’s website at www.attleboroartsmuseum.org.
The museum, at 86 Park St., will be open to experience the Flower Show and other attractions from Thursday to Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 1 to 4 p.m. On Sunday, the hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Fawcett said the 30-minute midday closing allows the volunteers a chance to reset, get ready for the next part of the day and clean everything.
Admission each day is $3; free for children 9 and younger. Those attending the morning hours are encouraged to return in the afternoon, as they will not be charged again.
“We start the Flower Show experience with an opening preview on Wednesday, March 22,” Fawcett told The Breeze. “It’s a special night, so guests pay a little bit more, $15, and get to see the gardens before they are open to the public. We will have special features that include a sand sculpture artist who will be making a sculpture that night and it will be on display.”
The special preview will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. and will feature live music from flutists Deborah Bradford and Noriko Whittaker, of the Lafayette Band, as well as sand sculptor Steve Topazio, of Sandtasia.
This year’s theme for the Flower Show is “Songs of Spring: Nature’s Music.” Live landscapes and floral exhibitors have chosen musical instruments to feature, Fawcett said. Gardens will center around drums, accordions, acoustic guitar, chimes, bells and more.
“Some will be deconstructing instruments as part of their landscape or they will create a shape out of the flowers to show an instrument, all using live or dried plant materials,” Fawcett said.
There will be seven exhibitors including:
• Briggs Nursery — North Attleboro, Mass.
• Bristol County Agricultural High School — Rehoboth, Mass.
• Ethical Earth Creations -Foxborough, Mass.
• Flowers by the Station — Attleboro, Mass.
• The Flower Shack — Cumberland
• Nolan’s Flowers & Gifts — North Attleboro, Mass.
• Rosebud Florist — Pawtucket
“In addition we have a small exhibition titled Magic Flutes,” Fawcett said.
This exhibit will be located in the museum’s lower level. Each year besides the main garden displays, the museum has a separate, smaller exhibition of unique floral arrangements.
Live music will be presented throughout the show, as well as roaming entertainers from Illuminate Creative & Theatrical Arts Company.
Other features of the four-day event include an expanded museum gift shop with accessories, home goods, fashions, toys, and other products that are either handmade by local artists or manufactured for customers to fill the museum’s expanded gift shop during the Flower Show. Partial proceeds from the sale of a handcrafted item supports the artist that created the piece as well as the museum.
The museum also has a Give and Get Back program with opportunities for both individuals and businesses to contribute as well as sponsorship opportunities.
“Each day there will be special attractions like a chance to meet or touch a turtle or visit with a therapy dog,” Fawcett said. “We involve creatures of all kinds and there will be workshops for kids.”
Sprinkled among the displays and demonstrations will be information kiosks provided by different organizations including the Attleboro Garden Club, the Attleboro Land Trust and the URI Master Gardeners. On Sunday, visitors can bring soil from their garden and have it tested for free by the master gardeners. Fawcett has had her soil tested and said it’s handy.
“My favorite thing (about the show) is someone who is 5 or 80 can look at the same thing and smile,” Fawcett said.
She added that the cleverly designed gardens can bring pleasure to visitors after winter. “I think everyone just likes spring better.”
For more information about the Flower Show or to register for a special attraction, visit www.attleboroartsmuseum.org.
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