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Drought, smoke stunt sunflower festival in Armstrong

The only one of its kind in the Thompson-Okanagan cancels 2 weeks ahead of opening

The seeds were sewn, but Mother Nature had other plans for the Thompson-Okanagan’s only sunflower festival.

Less than two weeks before the gates were set to open, Bloom Flower Festivals made the difficult decision to cancel.

“We planted our sunflowers in mid-July, but their growth was stunted by the ongoing drought across the province,” said Alexis Szarek, founder of Bloom Flower Festivals. “The thick smoke further hindered their growth.”

Two months after planting, Szarek says the tallest sunflowers are only calf-high and have stopped growing. For a sunflower to bloom, she adds, the flower should be nearly triple the height.

The decision to cancel the sunflower festival falls on the heels of Bloom’s tulip festival, which was cut short in May due to the heat wave.

“This hasn’t been the year we were hoping for,” said Szarek. “But our fingers are crossed and we’re looking forward to a great season next year.”

Bloom Flower Festivals will be in contact with ticketholders with more information in the coming days.

For updates and more information about future events, visit the farm online and follow Bloom Flower Festivals on social media.

READ MORE: Heat wave fries Armstrong tulips, forcing closure of festival

READ MORE: North Okanagan Thanksgiving food drive soliciting donations


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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