Video by David Corrigan, voice of Sherry Bracken
HILO, Hawaii: This year, the theme of the prestigious Philadelphia Flower Show is “Hawaii, Islands of Aloha”… which means its a great opportunity for the state’s flower shops and nursery industry.
Businesses like Hilo’s Green point nursery, where last week Eric Tanouye said they had been working hard to prepare and ship all the colorful representatives of Hawaii Island’s unique floriculture across the country to the City of Brotherly Love.
The annual event, which runs this year from March 4 through March 11, is the largest indoor flower show in the United States, according to the show’s web site, and definitely one of the oldest – since 1829.
Dynamic projections of crashing waves welcome guests and one of the largest displays of white orchids and anthuriums ever assembled. The main feature will have over 2,000 orchids–from dendrobiums to vandas and all genera in between.
Tanouye, who also serves as president of the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, says its a lot of work getting all these flowers to Philadelphia.
Green Point has the shipping process down pat, using their unique packing containers to ensure everything arrives intact. Still, with Hawaii’s tight agriculture shipping regulation, a lot of work goes into each bundle of exotic plant material.
Although most of the exhibitors at the flower show come from the East Coast, there is a Hawaiian Village–with numerous vendors from around the state; a chance to share authentic aloha with the thousands that are expected to go to the show.
The annual show attracts thousands of visitors. The Hawaii Tourist and Visitors Bureau is supporting Hawaii’s participation in the show, which hopefully will result in more visitors coming to Hawaii to appreciate the flora in its natural environment.
The HTA issued this media release on Tuesday:
The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, has partnered with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for this year’s Hawai‘i-themed Philadelphia International Flower Show. “Hawai‘i: Islands of Aloha” will open on March 4-11, 2012 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The annual flower show, a Philadelphia tradition since 1829, is the largest and oldest indoor flower show in the world. Also known as the Nation’s Flower Show, this year’s event will attract approximately 250,000 attendees and will showcase the beautiful flora and fauna of Hawai‘i.
“The Philadelphia Flower Show is a unique opportunity to promote the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands and share the Aloha Spirit of our people on the East Coast,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA. “This region is an important market to Hawai‘i’s tourism economy, and the flower show, which follows the recent announcements of new direct routes from Honolulu to Washington D.C. and New York, will help to attract visitors from this region to the warm and inviting Hawaiian Islands.”
Hawai‘i will be well represented in Philadelphia with a delegation of 153 to participate in the show. Coordinating the show effort for HTA is its North America marketing contractor the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau along with the island chapters’ visitor bureaus.
Representatives from all islands are scheduled to attend, including the City and County of Honolulu, County of Maui, Hawai‘i and Kaua‘i, as well as each of the islands visitors’ bureaus to provide attendees an opportunity to learn about the unique attributes of each of the islands and draw visitors to experience Hawai‘i first-hand.
The Philadelphia Convention Center’s main entrance will welcome attendees with tropical floral displays, leading them to the Hawai‘i Village where they will be greeted by more tropical flowers found in the Hawaiian Islands, such as anthurium, orchids and more. They will also be surrounded by our greatest resource, the people of Hawai‘i through Hawaiian entertainment with hula, live Hawaiian music and Hawaiian folklore, and the opportunity to learn to make lei.
Experts in Hawaiian culture, hula, native plants and history will also be teaching attendees about their respective interests to provide an authentic Hawaiian experience.
“This was a tremendous opportunity to bring Hawai‘i-grown and Hawai‘i-made businesses together to present their goods and products at the flower show,” said Michael Inouye, president of Hawai‘i Tropical Flower Council. “We collaborated with the HTA, four counties, visitors’ bureaus and Hawai‘i Food Manufacturers Association to showcase Hawai‘i’s unique floral
culture that enhances tourism and commerce for the state.”
The Hawai‘i Tropical Flower Council is the umbrella organization that represents all flower growers across the state, together with more than 20 local businesses, including Green Point Nurseries, Orchid Alley Kaua‘i and Sweet Paradise Chocolatier, they will be promoting and selling their plants, flowers, crafts and products to thousands of attendees during the week on a vast national stage for the duration of the show.
For more information on the Philadelphia International Flower Show, visit www.theflowershow.com.
Not to be outdone, Hawaii County officials also issued a media release the same day:
It was 44 degrees outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Tuesday, but the inside has been transformed into a warm Hawaiian paradise, complete with waterfalls, palm trees and tropical flowers.
The theme of the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show is “Islands of Aloha.” A total of 11 vendors from Hawai‘i Island are participating in what is billed as the “world’s largest indoor flower show,” which runs through March 11. There are more than 150 Hawai‘i participants at the show. A list of Hawai‘i Island vendors is below.
More than 10 acres of displays will highlight the show, which will also include cultural events such as hula, lei making, a lū‘au, Hawaiian music and other aspects of Hawaiian culture. With temperatures hovering near freezing at night in the city, more than 60 downtown Philadelphia store windows call attention to Hawai‘i with tropical displays of flowers and produce.
The County of Hawai‘i is a sponsor of the event, chipping in $75,000 along with the state’s three other counties to defray the cost of shipping flowers to Philadelphia. It is expected that 300,000 people will attend this event, which is not just a display of flowers but a trade show that will strengthen Hawai‘i’s brand and distributor presence as well. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hawai‘i Food Manufacturers Association, four Hawai‘i counties and their visitors’ bureaus collaborated on this event.
“This is a marvelous opportunity for participating vendors to market their items to a huge trade show audience,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi. “This is also a wonderful chance for Hawai‘i’s visitor industry to show off the sights, sounds and smells of our beautiful state.”
For 182 years, the Philadelphia International Flower Show has enthralled visitors from around the globe with stunning displays celebrating the beauty of plants and the art of gardening.
Philadelphia International Flower Show General Store
Hawai‘i Island Vendor Information
Big Island Bees – Flowers are to honey, as grapes are to wine, and nectar from Hawai‘i’s rare blossoms produce some of the most unique and flavorful honeys. Big Island Bees beautifully packaged single floral Hawaiian honeys are a delicious way to share and explore Hawai‘i. Beekeeping has been in the family for four generations and Big Island Bees has been tending bees in Hawai‘i since 1971. Big Island Bees maintain artisan standards, never heating or filtering its honey, thereby preserving its flavor and nutritional value. www.bigislandbees.com
EMAP Hawai‘i – EMAP and Mera Pharmaceuticals jointly make and market Kona Sea Salt, a hand-made, sun-dried natural sea salt made from 2,200-foot deep ocean water in Hawai‘i. It is the purest salt in the world and treasured by chefs and gourmets alike. EMAP is also a distributor of other products including the popular BioAstin, an algae-based product made from natural astaxanthin, a powerful anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. www.bigislandpure.com, www.nutrex-hawaii.com
Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co. – Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co. takes pride in growing, processing, and marketing 100 percent Hawaii grown macadamia nuts. Part of their core mission is to support Hawai‘i’s workers, growers and their families as well as keep Hawai‘i green. The visitor’s center offers a variety of macadamia nut products including flavored, candy glazed, popcorn, and brittle. It also has chocolates, Ka‘ū and Kona coffees, preserves and other local products. www.hawnnut.com
Hawai‘i Island Gourmet Products – Atebara/Hawai‘i Island Gourmet, Hawai‘i’s first chip company, was founded in Hilo at the height of the Great Depression. In 1941, Atebara/Hawai‘i Island Gourmet became the first chip company in Hawai‘i to produce taro chips. The company specializes in value-added products including macadamia nuts, cookies, candies, and chips utilizing exotic tropical grown produce found right here on our island. In addition to operating its own farm, the company also works with 15 other island family farms. Hawai‘i Island Gourmet Products’ collection of “Made in Hawai‘i” and “Grown in Hawai‘i” products will tempt your palate with exotic and unique flavors. www.hawaiichips.com
Kampachi Farms – Kampachi Farms is a Hawai‘i-based mariculture company focused on expanding the sustainable production of the ocean’s finest fish. Through innovative research and application of the best available science, Kampachi Farms will remain on the cutting edge of healthy, environmentally responsible seafood. Kampachi Farms aims to further develop offshore technologies that will facilitate the expansion of responsible mariculture in the United States and globally, such as deepwater mooring and farm site automation capabilities. Ongoing research into alternative feeds is focused on reducing mariculture’s reliance on wild-caught fishmeal and fish oil, replacing them with more sustainable American-grown agricultural products. Kampachi Farms is showing that it is possible to responsibly grow delicious, healthy, high quality fish in the open ocean. www.kampachifarm.com
Kona Coffee and Tea – Coffee Review magazine rated Kona Coffee and Tea coffee a perfect 10 for both aroma and flavor. Why is Kona Coffee and Tea coffee unique? The perfect rich volcanic soil of our farm, perfect elevation, perfect clouds, rain and sun. And of course our perfect roasting by our master roaster, always by hand, and always in small batches, to create that perfect taste and aroma you expect from our coffee. Our family farm is located at the 2,600-foot elevation near Holualoa. Our retail showroom offers taste samples of our famous award-winning Kona coffee. You can witness coffee being roasted daily in our in house roaster- the aroma is intoxicating. www.konacoffeeandtea.com
Kona Joe – Here is the secret of Kona Joe Coffee: We grow our 100 percent pure Kona Coffee on a trellis using the same techniques as the world’s finest vineyards. The coffee tree is trained to grow along the wires of the trellis. This training requires years of meticulous pruning and tying to open the tree over the trellis system. The result is a coffee tree which grows sideways and upwards. The tree develops with more uniform sun exposure resulting in more even ripening of the coffee cherry. Dissolved sugars in the coffee bean and cherry are enhanced. Overall flavors are richer with better texture. www.konajoe.com
Paradise Meadows – Paradise Meadows is a 75-acre farm located in Nā‘ālehu. A truly diversified farm, it features cattle, aquaponics, beekeeping, citrus orchards, coffee and macadamia nuts. In striving to keep the farm organic, Paradise Meadows makes its own fertilizer using micro-nutrients gathered from the soil. Its products are marketed under “The Local Buzz” brand, and has been in business since 2007. www.paradisemeadows.com
Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee – Rusty Obra had a big dream: Turn Hawai‘i’s Ka‘ū District into a celebrated coffee region. After his death, his wife vowed to fulfill his vision. In doing so, Lorie Obra has become one of the world’s leading artisanal coffee farmers. She is the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe’s 2010 Outstanding Producer, as well as Grand Champion of the Hawaii Coffee Association’s 2011 and 2010 cupping competitions. www.rustyshawaiian.com
South Swell Bakery – South Swell Bakery, DBA Kona Gold Rum Co., produces Macadamia Nut Rum Cakes, Macadamia Nut Kona Coffee Cakes and Macadamia Nut Pineapple Rum Cakes. The cakes are all made with 100 percent Macadamia Nuts from Hawai‘i Island. They are drenched with either a premium dark rum sauce or a coffee liqueur made from 100 percent Kona Coffee. The cakes are vacuum sealed to maintain freshness. This family-owned company takes pride in the quality of their rum cakes which many consider are “broke the mouth.”www.konagoldrum.com
Volcano Island Honey – Volcano Island Honey Company is a small artisan apiary in Hawai‘i. We produce the world famous Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey. National Geographic Traveler magazine said Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey is “…some of the best honey in the entire world.” Hand-harvested at precisely the right moment, it is smooth, thick and creamy… with the delicate, tropical flavor of Hawaii’s kiawe tree blossom. Prized by chefs the world over, it was featured by Wolfgang Puck on his cooking show. All of the honeys produced by Volcano Island Honey Co. are certified organic, unheated and unfiltered, leaving all natural enzymes intact. www.volcanoislandhoney.com