Floriade this year returns to Commonwealth Park, with a theme of "the future of flowers", Chief Minister Andrew Barr hoping pent-up demand after the absence of last year's event will see more than 500,000 people take in the spectacle.
Floriade will be held in Commonwealth Park from September 11 to October 10, with 1 million bulbs and annuals being planted for Canberra's celebration of spring.
There are no plans, at this stage, for ticketed entry or timed sessions, like Enlighten earlier in the year, but that could change if necessary.
The event was not held in the park last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Barr said a return of Floriade to Commonwealth Park, with all the usual attractions and traders, would inject close to $50 million into the ACT economy and attract at least 500,000 visitors
"We think we might exceed that given we weren't able to run the event last year," he said.
The pandemic resulted in Floriade being distributed to the suburbs and that initiative proved so popular it has been repeated this year, with another 300,000 bulbs and annuals distributed to more than 90 community groups to plant; including schools, churches, aged care facilities and sporting clubs.
Floriade executive producer Vickii Cotter said people could expect all the usual attractions back in Commonwealth Park this year, including the amusement rides, sideshow alley, traders, cafes and food stalls and performances on Stage 88. Nightfest also returns.
And, of course, the flowers.
"All the heavy concentration [of plantings] is back in the park and we have smaller plantings out in the community," Ms Cotter said.
"We're hoping Covid will be kind and park can be the main base again. We're working closely with ACT Health to make sure we comply with anything that comes out."
She said the theme of "the future of flowers" opened up all kinds of ideas for the event.
"We're looking to celebrate sustainability, examine climate change. We're able to talk about plant-based health and wellness and also teaching our kids how to plant so we can have a future for ourselves," Ms Cotter said.
Canberra had shown it could cope with a big event in the face of a pandemic, when Enlighten was held successfully in autumn.
Ms Cotter said Enlighten had been "a great result".
She said at this stage, entry to Commonwealth Park would be the same as previous Floriades, without staggered sessions. But that could change.
"We've got lots of contingencies we're planning," Ms Cotter said.
"Our main focus is to get that entertainment back in and the stalls because people have missed out on a year's worth of income. So it's really good for lots of small businesses to be able to trade again at these kind of events."
Mr Barr was happy Floriade would continue to be celebrated in the suburbs - a positive legacy of the pandemic - saying it broadened the reach of the event and engaged the community. He had even done his bit.
"Last Saturday morning, I was out at Kingston shops doing some plantings; lugging soil back and forth in that area," he said.
He said the 34th Floriade, as with the others, was a celebration of spring and showcasing the city as it emerged from winter.
Mr Barr said the fact Floriade was an outdoor event helped with ensuring it was a Covid-safe event, reducing the risk of transmission. A plan would still be put to the ACT's chief health officer.
"It may be we need to restrict numbers at peak times," he said.
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