By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Once again this year, a wintry mix swept through our area just as the Philadelphia Flower Show began its annual run. But its organizers say they are not considering starting the show to a later date on the calendar, to escape potential bad weather or forecasts.
Today at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Drew Becher, president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, said attendance the first few days of the 2015 show is exceeding expectations, so he doesn’t think weather is a factor.
“I think it goes to show the pull and magic of the Flower Show,” he told KYW Newsradio. “People want to see color, be warm, and be wowed. And that’s what they’re going to get.”
The Flower Show will begin next year on March 5th, and it will open March 11th the following year, but Becher says they don’t intend to move it further toward spring to maximize chances for good weather.
“The meat and potatoes are the people who create these big gardens are landscaping companies, and they start getting really busy when things start popping,” he explains.
During the 2013 run, there were predictions of a major snowstorm — which never materialized — and Becher recalls that attendance dropped.
“Most large events around the country, after 9/11, have event insurance for terrorism, weather, and other issues,” he notes. He says they put in an insurance claim for 2013.
“I believe it was about $600,000 for lost revenue for those two days,” Becher says. He says attendance that year was about 225,000, and just over 230,000 last year.
This year he anticipates even more.
“If I wanted to be a betting man, I’d say we’ll come in around 245,000-250,000,” he said.
The theme of the show this year is the movies, with Disney scenes predominating, reflected in the number of children in tow with their families.