LAKE PLACID — On July 28 and 29, plant lovers will congregate in Central Florida to celebrate all things caladium for the 32nd edition of the Caladium Festival, the only festival of its kind in the United States.
Taking place in Lake Placid, the area is known as the Caladium Capital of the World thanks to its frost-free weather, plenty of rain and fertile soil. About 90 percent of the world’s supply of caladium bulbs is grown in the area with more than 1,200 acres planted for commercial production.
Sometimes mistaken for elephant ear plants, caladiums are known for their heart-shaped leaves in varying patterns of green, white, pink, and red.
“The caladium festival is the highlight of our grower’s year,” said Jennifer Bush, Executive Director of the Greater Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce. “While Hurricane Ian may have hurt the caladium industry last September, we are thankful our growers have come together, allowing visitors to celebrate with us. There will be plenty of caladiums to view and bulbs to purchase, along with a variety of other plants as well.”
While caladiums are at the heart of the festival, it’s also a summer celebration for the whole family. Other activities include a car and bike show, live entertainment, an arts and floral arrangement competition, vendor booths and so much more.
This year will also see the special addition of the “Caladium Flyer” from Sugar Express, Florida’s only historic steam-powered passenger train. One-hour train trips will depart Lake Placid on Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. each day. Tickets are $25.
The festival is free to attend.
The best time to see caladium fields are late July, August and September. Around festival time, local yards and parks are also vibrant with caladiums. At the end of October, caladium tubers are harvested and shipped for sale all over the United States and internationally.
For more information on the Caladium Festival please visit https://www.caladiumfestival.org. You can also email email@example.com or Casey@visitsebring.com.