Flower Mart, Baltimore’s annual rite of spring, has been reimagined amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mount Vernon Place Conservancy, which runs the spring festival featuring crafts, food, plants and events, has announced that all Flower Mart events will be virtual in 2021. But they are designed to engage as many patrons as possible – including by selling kits to make your own lemon sticks.
The Conservancy launched a new website to host a vendor marketplace and virtual events. The vendor marketplace is currently open and the virtual events will be held from April 30 to May 2.
“It’s something that really heralds spring here and we’re trying to continue that feeling by doing something online this year,” said Lance Humphries, Executive Director of the Conservancy.
“It’s a very nostalgic event for many, many people, because it’s been around so long,” he said.
The online vendor marketplace features 12 florists and farms, 10 food and beverage options, and 10 craft vendors. Vendors range from Charm City Meadworks to local artists and jewelry makers.
Baltimoreans can also purchase kits to make their own Lemon Sticks, which have been served at Flower Mart for over one hundred years.
Take-home Lemon Stick Kits can be purchased online and picked up at Washington Monument from May 1-2, between 11-4. Each $8 kit includes everything you need to make Lemon Sticks, plus a package of flower seeds to plant in your garden.
From April 30-May 2, the Conservancy will stream free virtual events on Facebook and YouTube. Events include floral arranging demonstrations, such as “Whimsical Spring Flower Arrangement” by Fleur De Lis Florist, and wine tasting with Old Westminster Winery.
The Conservancy will also include educational events like “Getting Nerdy With Nature” with The National Aquarium and “For the Joy of Bees: A Discussion On Native And Managed Pollinators.”
Flower Mart was founded by the Women’s Civic League in 1911. The Women’s Civic League was formed to improve living conditions in Baltimore and its surrounding suburbs.
League members fought to improve the city by writing letters, lobbying state legislators, donating money, attending City Council meetings, and creating Flower Mart.
Over the years, Flower Mart lost a bit of its “quaint” and “old-timey” feel, as the focus shifted away from local Baltimore vendors, Humphries explained.
When the Conservancy took over management in 2019, the organization aimed to return Flower Mart to its original purpose.
“We really wanted to focus on its original mission, which was encouraging the greening of the city by planting flowers, and also to support local makers, growers, whatever they may be,” said Humphries.