San Francisco’s Union Square was transformed into a floral wonderland Saturday, March 2, for American Tulip Day, a promotional event organized by iBulb, a Dutch marketing company.
It was the country’s second annual celebration of tulips, said Bill Prescott, marketing director of Sun Valley Farms in Arcata, California, which supplied 100,000 flowers in a rainbow of colors for the event. “It was much bigger this year, with substantially more visitors and press coverage,” he added.
Organizers planted tulips in monochromatic rows, surrounding a giant display of flowers that spelled out “LOVE.” Union Square, a centrally-located and iconic space in the city, “lends itself to a grand event like this,” Prescott said.
More than 7,000 people descended on the scene, where they were invited to pick tulips to enjoy at home. Sun Valley employees seized the opportunity to hand out stickers raising awareness for International Women’s Day — an upcoming holiday that the company promotes heavily, which earned Floral Management’s Marketer of the Year honors in 2014. They also took time to teach people about how tulips are grown and how to care for them.
“Participating in an event like this is something you really must experience to appreciate. The look on peoples’ faces as they got to wander through 100,000 tulips is amazing,” Prescott said. “Whole families came and picked flowers together. Thousands of selfies were taken. People waited in line for literally three hours for an opportunity to pick the tulips. They were extremely grateful.”
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor for the Society of American Florists.