In 2018 the Ancient Society of York Florists marked its 250th anniversary, making it the oldest such society in the world. To celebrate this remarkable achievement, York staged a four-day festival called Bloom!
The York BID was proud to be the keynote sponsor for the festival and funded the role of the festival curator, Lotte Inch. We agreed to fund the position for 10 months, with the express request that the festival left behind a legacy in the city. The BID’s prospectus is clear in its goals to:
- Add to and enhance the floral displays seen within the area,
- Work with partners, especially Make It York, to develop and promote York’s growing reputation as a City of Festivals and host of a year-round programme of events,
- Invest in street, community and cultural events throughout the city aimed at encouraging visitors and locals to discover York’s hidden gems.
Involved more than 100 businesses
Running between 5 and 8 July, Bloom! was a huge hit with people of all ages. It enabled people to discover the little-known gardens of York nestled behind some of its most infamous buildings, attend a traditional flower show, support the work of local growers and horticultural charities and witness a floral master at work with royal florist Simon Lycett.
More than 120 events ran over the four days of the festival which engaged with in excess of 100 businesses.
The Bloom! legacy
In summer 2019, a mini Bloom! festival will return. The celebration, 22-23 June in York Minster’s Dean’s Park, will included a flower and produce show. The York BID is also involved in the creation of a pocket park along Stonebow.
As part of this, York BID has sponsored an initiative to bring an award-winning garden to the heart of York.
Entitled ‘In Sight of the Minster’, the installation is by staff and students from Askham Bryan College and won a gold medal at the recent Harrogate Spring Flower Show.
It was installed in the Coppergate Centre in May and remained there until the end of June.
Photographs: Richard McDougall / Charlotte Graham / David Harrison