Florissant’s Valley of Flowers Festival

In the Valley of Flowers

Florissant’s Valley of Flowers Festival Celebrates the Muny’s 100th anniversary

Since 1963, the Valley of Flowers Festival celebration has been the “first festival of spring” featuring a variety of events, including a superb parade. 

This three-day celebration taking place May 4, 5 and 6, has activities for everyone.  It includes a flower and plant sale, culturally diverse performances, baseball games, a classic car show, vendor/craft fair, flea market, a pretty baby photo contest, children’s activities and, of course, good food.  Carnival games and exciting rides are featured at the Duchesne Knights of Columbus Fairgrounds.

The official parade on Sunday, May 6 is a highlight of the weekend that leads up to the crowning of the Valley of Flowers Queen and Court at the Duchesne Knights of Columbus Pavilion.   This year’s parade will feature more than 100 participants beginning with mobile units departing from the James J. Eagan Center at 1:45 p.m.  Decorated vehicles and floats will proceed west on Parker Road to New Florissant Road where youth and walking units, as well as the marching bands will merge.  The complete parade will then travel south on New Florissant prior to turning west on rue St. Francois past the official parade reviewing stands, then left on St. Ferdinand, proceeding then to Washington Street and concluding at the Knights of Columbus Fairgrounds.

The theme for the 2018 Valley of Flowers Parade is “Muny’s 100th” and will feature many floats and units decorated to reflect themes of the Muny’s plays which have taken place over the last 100 years.  Many city officials and local municipal emergency responder vehicles, the Valley of Flowers reigning Queen and Court, and all seventeen 2018 candidates as well as car clubs, walking units, horse groups, dog clubs, dance schools and scout groups, that make up the fabric of our community, will participate to help create a colorful and fun parade.

When the parade concludes at the Knights of Columbus Grounds, the candidates will proceed to the pavilion stage where Florissant Mayor Thomas Schneider will crown the 2018 Valley of Flowers Queen and Court at 4 p.m.  Prior to the crowning ceremony, awards will be presented to the various winning parade units and their sponsors, and the Pretty Baby Photo Contest winners.

The Valley of Flowers Committee has selected Richard Cox, owner and operator of Danmark Tire and Auto Center at 735 N. Highway 67 in Florissant, as the 2018 Valley of Flowers Parade Marshall. Cox has operated the business since 1976. In the early 1980’s he submitted a competitive bid for servicing vehicles for the city of Florissant. He was recently awarded a similar contract for the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District. Cox is a resident of Florissant with his family. He is a very active member of the Cornerstone Christian Church and dedicates much of his time and resources to the church.

The Valley of Flowers Festival fairgrounds site offers something for everyone

There will be many activities at the Knights of Columbus Duchesne Council grounds on Washington Street between St. Ferdinand and Lindbergh Blvd. (N. Hwy 67) next to St. Ferdinand Shrine.  All weekend enjoy the rides, games, beverages, great food and famous barbeque.  There are even more rides available for younger children as well as the grand Ferris Wheel for everyone.  On Friday night only, all rides will be one ticket.  On Friday, Saturday and Sunday treat yourself to an ice-cold beer from one of our beer trailers or a delicious margarita from the margarita stand.  The Knights will serve their delicious barbecue ribs, pork steaks, walking tacos, boneless wings, brats, hot dogs and hamburgers Friday through Sunday.  Other food and game booths, all sponsored by local nonprofit organizations, will offer a variety of festival foods and games.  The beer garden will be open Friday through Sunday.

The Knights of Columbus grounds are open on Friday from 4 p.m. to close, on Saturday from 11 a.m. to close, and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to close.  Please do not park on the local shopping center lots.  There is ample parking in the field on St. Charles Street or at St. Ferdinand Park and walk the path to the festival. 

To maintain a family-friendly and neighborhood atmosphere, the festival committee will once again require that anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  There are other short-term changes to better manage the crowds and traffic flow in and around the festival grounds.  The plan includes temporary traffic regulations to prevent festival traffic from interfering with local businesses including the no parking policy at Florissant Meadows Shopping Center and Dierbergs, a well-enforced dress code and increased overall security.  Additionally, no one will be allowed to enter the Knights Grounds after 8 p.m. on any evening. 

Gardeners of Florissant plant sale

The Valley of Flowers plant sale is sponsored by the local Gardeners of Florissant, a nonprofit organization, which is committed to protecting and beautifying the environment and sharing their knowledge with others. The 2018 sale will once again feature another huge selection of flowering plants, (both garden and indoor), vegetables and herbs at reasonable prices.  Visitors to the sale will find offerings that bloom from spring through late fall and are suitable for most home environments whether sunny, shady, moist or dry.  There will also be various lovely foliage and flowering hanging baskets and pre-planted decorative containers.  The plant sale will also have several raffles for valuable garden-related prizes.

Anyone interested in growing a vegetable garden this spring will find tables of different types of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.  Club members are happy to help decide on varieties that will grow well in their gardens.  Several members are certified as Master Gardeners and are always willing to share their expertise with patrons. The Gardeners of Florissant plant sale will be held in the ice rink pavilion at the James J. Eagan Center beginning at noon until 9 p.m. on Friday, May 4.   It will then continue Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Additional information about the club, its activities and various plants can be found at www.florissantmo.com – then search “Gardeners of Florissant,” when it opens to select “Projects/Events”.

Walk in the “Volksmarch”

The St. Louis Stuttgart Volksmarch Club will sponsor this free “People’s Walk” through interesting and scenic areas. This is a non-competitive, recreational, family-time stroll. Volksmarchers may (for a small fee) keep track of their event/distance in official record books that are available. The Volksmarch will be held Saturday, May 5, with registration from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the pavilion on the path behind the Old Town Partners and Valley of Flowers house at 601 rue St. Charles. The “Peoples Walk” begins on the path adjacent to the pavilion and continues through the friendly streets of Old Town Florissant. Along the way, many of the activities of the festival will be highlighted as well as some of the historic homes located throughout Old Town Florissant.

Old Town Partners car show

Florissant Old Town Partners invites you to come and enjoy a car show set against the backdrop of the historic business district of Old Town Florissant. The car show will be on Saturday May 5, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. along rue St. Francois. The Open Class show will feature approximately 150 cars. The car show line up will be from St. Pierre Street to Lafayette Street on St. Francois. Through traffic will be closed and only cars in the show will be allowed admittance to the street beginning 8 a.m.  Registration for cars is $15. Trophies will be awarded at 3 p.m. Call the Old Town Partners office at 314-837-0033 or 314-537-3425 for pre-registration and information (If necessary, a rainout date has been planned for May 12).

Pretty Baby Photo Contest

The Pretty Baby Photo Contest will be held on the ice rink of the James J. Eagan Center on Friday, May 4, from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The contest is for children two years of age or younger. View all the photos and cast your vote to help decide the winner.  Entries are judged in two categories: “Personality” – as depicted in the photo and “Popularity” – demonstrated by donations from the public who vote at the booth.

To enter your favorite baby, send in a four-inch by six-inch photo (or smaller) featuring one child per photo along with a $5 registration fee by May 4. Entries after this deadline will be charged a $7 entry fee. Make checks payable to the “Valley of Flowers Festival.” On the back of the photo include the name of the child, parents’ names, address, phone number and age of the baby. Send the photo with info and the entry fee to: Valley of Flowers Festival, 601rue St. Charles, Florissant, MO 63031.

To have your photo returned, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your entry.

The winners will receive an award and gift basket at the awards ceremony on Sunday, May 6 preceding the crowning of the queen and the court at the Knights of Columbus Pavilion.  The Valley of Flowers Festival Committee sponsors this contest and the proceeds are used for the Valley of Flowers Children’s area.

Craft and vendor fair and flea market

The annual craft and vendor fair will be on the ice rink pavilion of the James J. Eagan Center on Friday, May 4, from noon to 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. At this ever-popular event, local crafters and vendors will have a wide variety of products that make for the perfect gift for any occasion. Returning favorites include: jewelry, one-of-a-kind gift baskets, gourmet food mixes, unique accessories, and garden ornaments. To reserve a booth, call the Valley of Flowers office at 314-837-0033 or apply online at www.florissantvalleyofflowers.com.

Florissant Old Town Partners will host their annual flea market on the lower level of the James J. Eagan Center on Friday, May 4, from noon to 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This event will offer a wide variety of items that includes antiques, garden items, Christmas items and more.

A food court with multicultural flavors

The food court tent on the James J. Eagan grounds is a culinary delight. Enjoy the variety of foods from the many nationalities that includes: old-fashioned, American-style, barbecued meats and side dishes; kettle corn; funnel cakes chicken strips; nachos; ice cream; foods of various cultures and much more. Various beverages will also be available. The food court opens Friday, May 4, from noon to 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Kid’s World

Kid’s World will be on the grounds of the James J. Eagan Center and will feature many activities to stimulate young minds and bodies. R. W. Magic among others will perform for free within the area. “Eddie” the Florissant K-9 Community Service dog will be in attendance. In addition to all the free entertainment and activities there will be a petting zoo, pony rides, and a bounce house for a small fee. Kid’s World will be on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

First responders

The Florissant Police Department and the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District will be onsite and hosting various first responders’ demonstrations at the James J. Eagan Center along Waterford Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be canine demonstrations, one at 10:30 a.m. and the second at 2 p.m.

Suburban XII North Varsity High School baseball games

All six teams in the conference will play.

Location: Koch Park Field #2.

Enjoy the competition of high school baseball games during the Valley of Flowers Festival week.

The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. – Hazelwood West (Home) vs. Riverview Gardens

Friday, May 4 at 4 p.m. – Hazelwood East (Home) vs. Hazelwood Central

Friday, May 4, at 7 p.m. – McCluer (Home) vs. McCluer North

Pitch Hit and Run

Thursday, May 3, 6 p.m.

Location: Koch Park Field #4

Children ages seven to fourteen are invited to participate in the Pitch, Hit and Run competition. Participants compete in three stations; pitching, hitting and running with a chance to advance to Sectionals, Team Championships.  This program is free but requires pre-registration by May 2. To register, call the JKF Community Center at 314-921-4250 or the James J. Eagan Center at 314-921-4466.