CHICAGO - The oldest community garden fair in Chicago, the Hyde Park Garden Fair, brings the beauty and life of plants and flowers to one place for the picking.
Number one volunteer Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle blew the ceremonial whistle to officially open the fair and welcome shoppers and their carts. The crowd lined up almost 2 hours in advance of the opening.
The Garden Fair was canceled for the last 2 years.
This year, gardeners are more interested than ever in cultivating beauty in their yards and on their balconies
Heather McClean moved to Hyde Park in 2019 and during the pandemic, tried gardening on her own but was eager to attend the popular garden fair.
"I feel like we're all coming back, and the plants are the symbol of coming back. This year I'm going to follow the directions on the sticks and go get advice from someone who knows what they're doing," said McClean.
Yolanda Edwards Bradley is the Chairperson of the Hyde Park Garden Fair.
After a two-year absence, she wasn’t sure that the customers would return. She was not disappointed, seeing longtime friends and neighbors.
"We're so happy to be back, we spend the year shopping and picking the best plants we possibly could," said Bradley.
Forty volunteers hand selected every plant and flower and offered expert advice.
Any leftover plants are given to neighborhood projects and community gardens to beautify Kenwood and Hyde Park.