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Indiana’s state flower blossoms at the Peony Festival

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With a mission to inspire Indiana natives to celebrate the state flower, the Indiana Peony Festival on May 18 will be booming and blooming in downtown Noblesville.

The Indiana Peony Festival brings colorful flowers to downtown Noblesville. (Photo provided/ Kelly McVey)

Seminary Park sees beyond the bustling bouquets and creates space for nearly 120 food vendors, florists, crafters and artisans for their annual celebration. Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that the third Saturday in May is the day.

“We have expanded this year … Last year we had about 70 vendors, this year it will be around 120,” said Kelly McVey, founder and president of the Indiana Peony Festival.

The festival will feature peony growers, artisans, kids’ activities, horticulture classes, floral displays and food and spirit trucks. This fourth annual celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The organizers encourage patrons to bring their leashed dogs if they are well-behaved. The kids’ zone will feature snow cones, cotton candy, face painting, balloons and peony crafts.

“This year we have really increased the number of food and flower vendors,” McVey said. “(The festival) highlights downtown Noblesville in a beautiful way. Seminary Park is so quaint and so beautiful.”

The Indiana Peony Festival brings colorful flowers to downtown Noblesville. (Photo provided/ Kelly McVey)

Anthos, an Indy-based fine arts florists, expressed their excitement about the event and what business it could attract.

“[The festival] will bring a lot of great community-building with a lot of other local flower friends, as well as food friends and other creatives. It’s just a lot of fun to go out there and meet people,” said Jessica Kartawich, co-founder of Anthos.

In addition to the festival activities, the organizers also encourage home-growers to bring in their own cut flowers to participate in the Peony Stem Contest. People can bring their cut flower between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to enter free of charge. Only one stem is allowed, and contestants will be provided with a vase and water for judging. The winners will be announced at 3 p.m.

The Indiana Peony Festival brings colorful flowers to downtown Noblesville. (Photo provided/ Kelly McVey)

“I want people to be able to come together for this event … I want people to feel like they’re walking back in time,” McVey said.

McVey hopes to not only encourage guests to take part in the celebration but to stay in Noblesville and Hamilton County for Brunch & Blooms, which is held the same day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Downtown Noblesville will be filled with floral installations, live music and decorations.

“We see so many businesses who are so excited about (the festival),” McVey said. “There are so many things to think about when it comes to planning something like this … we want people to experience the beauty of Noblesville.”

The Indiana Peony Festival brings colorful flowers to downtown Noblesville. (Photo provided/ Kelly McVey)

With roughly 30 merchant locations offering food, drinks and products, a map of the best route can be picked up day of in the Indiana Peony Festival tent. Patrons who can get 15 or more locations stamped will be entered to win special prizes.

“(The Peony Festival) gives the community an opportunity to come together for the peony,” McVey said.

For more information, including a full list of vendors, a breakdown of activities and parking, visit indianapeonyfestival.com.

Contact Staff Writer Hanna Rauworth at 317.762.7854 or follow her on Instagram at @hanna.rauworth.

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