Chicago Garden Show Canceled

June 23, 2006 - 07:06

Due to poor financial results and declining attendance, the Chicago Flower & Garden show has been canceled after sponsor WGN Radio withdrew. For 12 years, the show drew gardeners and other visitors to Navy Pier in Chicago, Ill., and displayed elaborate gardens in addition to holding lectures and competitions.

Kenton Morris, director of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show since its reincarnation in 1994, told the Chicago Tribune show attendance had fallen from 150,000 in 2005 to 143,000 last March. The 2006 show also struggled with a tighter budget from WGN Radio and the loss of some major exhibitors.

The show was also hurt by the withdrawal of support from the City of Chicago, as the Chicago Park District, acting on Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s request, organized its own show in Chicago’s Grant Park this past May. The advent of the new show caused a number of high-end landscaping and design firms to wait to exhibit in May instead of at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show in March.

The city's show drew 25,000 visitors, short of the 100,000 the Park District had hoped for, Laura Foxgrover, director of the Park District's Department of New Business Development, told the Chicago Tribune. Organizers are still "working toward doing it again next year," said Foxgrover, though no final decision has been made.

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