As the Festival of Flowers ramps up for its golden anniversary, the month long gala is reconnecting with its past.
Officials this week announced Park Seed has signed a two-year deal to become a presenting sponsor of the event, which began in 1968 to coincide with the company’s 100th anniversary.
“The timing is great. We’re really excited about it, and it’s just great news for the festival and the state of South Carolina,” said Ruple Harley Jr., who will be chairman of the festival for a record fifth time.
Scott Ashby, chief sales and marketing officer for Park Seed, said the company’s evolution over the years made it logical to recommit with the festival.
Park Seed now operates under the Jackson Perkins Park Acquisitions brand, growing from a family-owned business.
“The goal for JPPA is to define and implement a program that maximizes our ability to contribute to the Greenwood community and the festival. With our new partnership, we see great opportunity to help get the festival message out to our broad audience of gardeners in the region who will certainly want to engage in many of the events,” he said.
Angelle LaBorde, president and CEO of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, said Park’s re-entry as a primary festival sponsor will take on a modern feel.
“Let’s be clear. Park Seed is not returning to the days of hosting the field trial gardens and growers days on site, but their support and brands are a perfect match to what the Festival of Flowers is all about: Flowers, families and fun,” she said.
Instead of those on-site offerings, Park Seed began working with LaBorde and festival planners on a package that included financial support and access to its internet platform.
“By working together, we found that we could expand the chamber’s reach through online newsletters, social media and website advertising that would allow them to contact people in the region from all of our garden brands like ever before,” Ashby said.
Park Seed was founded in 1868 by 15-year-old George W. Park in Libonia, Pennsylvania, but relocated to Greenwood in 1924 after Park married Carol Mary Barratt, an Emerald City native.
Wes Harvell, a live goods merchant with JPPA, will speak to civic leaders on May 11 at the chamber’s Morning Blend to talk more about the company’s relationship with the festival.
The Festival of Flowers celebrates its opening weekend June 2-4, with more than 35 events planned throughout the month across the county.
Article Written by: Adam Benson of the Index Journal