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US (CA): Golden State Bulb Growers and the Capitola Begonia Festival have a growing history
It is around this time that a festival occurs in Capitola, CA. Large groups of people come together and gather millions of blossoms from this field of tubers to fill Capitola with flowers that have made this part of California the begonia capital.
GSBG was originally founded in Capitola under the name Brown Bulb Ranch, and had a major role in making this city the begonia capital. They have been responsible for breeding some of the finest varieties of begonias worldwide and have been a major resource for the blooms used in the begonia festival for over 60 years.
In 1952, a Capitola citizen by the name of Peggy Mathews noticed the large fields of begonias grow in the summer and die back in later seasons. These fields are not used for cut flowers, so the blooms seemed to be going to waste. Mathews came up with the idea to pick and use these blossoms to decorate floats on the water which led to the creation of the Capitola Begonia Festival.
The Festival is a family centered event. All in the area are welcome to attend for free and participate in the various activities put on. These include a dance, a blossom decorated float parade down a local creek, sand sculpture contests, and others.
In leading up to the festival this year, the city put on multiple events to increase interest in the festival itself. There was a City Wide Yard Sale where potted begonias were sold to the public along with artistic posters from past festivals. GSBG was able to provide these plants at the request of the city.
May 9, 2015 an event was held where local residents could purchase a packet with the materials needed to grow their own begonias. These included instructions on how to grow these flowers so the community could have their own plants when the festival came. GSBG provided these packets to support the efforts of the city leaders to grow interest in the festival through participation.
The festival has occurred each September since 1952 and continues today. Volunteers still come to GSBG and pick the begonia blossoms to use in the celebration.
GSBG is a family owned company filled with over 100 years of growing history. It is an organization that has given much to the area where it was founded and continues to give today.
For more information
Golden State Bulb Growers, Inc.
3060 Hilltop Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039
Capitola Begonia Festival
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