Saturday, March 8, 2003

Flower show ready to pull in at Coney

Added parking delights its director

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mary Margaret Rochford, director of the Cincinnati Flower Show, has 5,000 reasons for being excited about the show's move this year to Coney Island.

"The big advantage of moving the show from Ault Park to Coney Island is more than 5,000 parking places," Rochford says. "Ault Park is beautiful, but we didn't have the easy parking. And Coney has a lot of nostalgia for people in Greater Cincinnati.

The 14th annual Cincinnati Flower Show will run April 23-27 on the banks of Coney's Lake Como. The site is between Kellogg Avenue and the lake.

"You don't realize how big that space is, something like 20 acres, including the lake," Rochford says. The lake will become part of the show as plans call for floating floral exhibits.

The show, presented by Provident Bank, has been cited as among the best flower shows in the country by USA Today and Better Homes and Gardens. It is the only flower show in North America to earn the endorsement of the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain.

[photo] Sketch of the planned flower show along Lake Como in Coney Island Park, including a pontoon bridge on the lake.
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Two large tents, including the Grand Marquee with the major show exhibits, will be erected on the site. Vendors' booths and outdoor displays, including the popular container gardens and window boxes, will line Lake Como.

The spotlight garden this year will be "Ohio's Colorful Heritage," a tribute to Ohio's bicentennial. There also will be an Ohio Pavilion, sponsored by the Ohio Historical Society, honoring notable Cincinnatians from the fields of science, industry, entertainment, art and horticulture.

The show will run 9 a.m.-8 p.m. April 23-26 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April 27.

Advance flower show tickets, $11, go on sale Monday at Provident Bank locations, Kroger stores, at Web site or 872-5194. Tickets at the gate during show hours will be $15 adults and $3 children 3-12. Information: 872-5194.

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