COVID-19 has not been able to stop a nearly 50-year tradition from taking place in Greater Victoria.
Organizers announced Monday that the 47th annual Greater Victoria Flower Count will take place this year, running from March 9 until March 16.
The annual event sees municipalities in the Greater Victoria area going head-to-head in a light-hearted yet spirited grow-off competition, with the goal of producing the most flowers.
In February or March of each year, Greater Victoria Flower Count organizers announce a “challenge” to communities to see which can be the “bloomingest.”
Last year’s Greater Victoria Flower Count saw over 65 billion blooms counted across Greater Victoria, with Highlands winning first place as the “bloomingest” community.
While the goal of the flower count is normally to bolster community pride and increase awareness of Victoria’s attractiveness as a destination, this year, organizers hope there is an additional message that comes with the event.
“As Greater Victoria and the rest of Canada emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Greater Victoria Flower Count also reminds us happier days are ahead,” reads a statement from organizers. “Restrictions have eased and people are ready to travel again.”
The organizers’ add that another goal in 2022 is to spread spring cheer to the residents of Greater Victoria — encouraging them to count blooms in their communities — while also hoping people share virtual bouquets with the rest of Canada.
“We encourage people to share our message and images of our flowers and blooms with their family and friends across Canada to remind them about our message of hope and supports, and to remind them about the arrival of their own spring flowers very soon,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. “We just happen to be the first blossoming region in Canada.”
When it comes to estimating blooms, organizers say a single small tree full of blossoms equals 250,000 blossoms. A mid-sized heather bush works out to 1,000 blossoms, and a bigger tree fully in bloom counts for 750,000 blossoms.
One key part of the annual flower count involves elementary school participation. This year, Grades 4 and 5 students are being asked to submit entries, with each student in the winning class awarded a ticket for the full Malahat SkyWalk experience plus seeds from The Butchart Gardens to plant their own flowers for next year’s count.
Flower counts can be submitted at www.flowercount.com. The count also can be followed from March 9-16 on social media through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @FlowerCount.