LAKE PLACID -- The 31st Annual Caladium Festival, set for July 29-31 in downtown Lake Placid, will include caladium bulb and plant sales, tours of the caladium fields, a car and motorcycle show, arts and crafts vendors, entertainment and more.
The popular caladium field bus tours are filled on a “first come” basis. To ensure a spot on a tour, visitors can book tickets online at https://www.caladiumfestival.org/bus-tours. Festival admission is free. Bus tours of the caladium fields, decorated neighborhood and Lake Placid area can be purchased in advance for $12 or $15 the day of the event.
On Friday, the festival starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Entertainment includes:
On Saturday, the festival starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Entertainment includes:
On Sunday, the festival starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Entertainment includes:
The event is pet friendly. All pets must be on a leash and owners are required to clean up after them. Pet owners are also warned much of the festival is on pavement which gets very hot in July and could hurt a dog’s paws.
According to the festival website, the Caladium Festival began with a group of growers with help from the Convention and Visitors Bureau. They initially wanted the festival in September as the caladiums were in full bloom and it was a slow month for merchants.
In 1990, two competing caladium grower families decided to work together to make the festival possible, the website explains. “Carolyn Phypers of Happiness Farms and Dot Bates of Bates Sons and Daughters Caladiums took on the job. The first location of the festival was at Happiness Farms. In preparation, Bates and Phypers drove a pick-up truck and walked door to door offering free caladium bulbs (tubers) by the bagful to anyone from Hwy. 621 to Lake Blue who would plant them. Bus tours could see the fields and then be shown how beautifully caladiums could be incorporated into a landscape. Two years later, they added the WatersEdge neighborhood and left trays of bulbs in the cul-de-sac for anyone who wanted to plant them.”
The festival started with one bus offering two tours of the Caladium fields the first year. In more recent years, it has grown to more than 40 tours per festival.
The festival was turned over to the Chamber of Commerce in 2007.