A Million Mum Blooms
By Kara Lysenko
You would probably have to go all the way to Japan to see a more dazzling array of 13,000 chrysanthemums producing more than a million mum blooms that are displayed around Barberton’s Lake Anna Park during the fall.
In 1991, in anticipation of the City’s centennial celebration, the Centennial Mum Gardens were planted at the northeast corner of Lake Anna Park. Yoder Brothers, Inc. (now Aris Horticulture, Inc.) donated 15,000 chrysanthemum cuttings which created a rainbow of color the last weekend of September for all to enjoy.
A weekend festival was organized in conjunction with the blooming of the mums.
What began as a one-year activity will mark its 31st year September 25 and 26, 2021. Annual attendance figures reach 50,000. The City of Barberton, Aris Horticulture, Inc., Raymond James Financial, Dennis Liddle and the Barberton Community Foundation remain the major sponsors of this annual festival.
The Barberton Mum Festival combines a unique blend of public and private support. The event is funded by the City of Barberton and private donations. The Mum Festival recognizes the uniqueness of the chrysanthemum to Barberton, Ohio and highlights the role of Aris in the history of Barberton.
The mum gardens are planted to form colorful collage displays. In addition to the mum beds, the display features a floral clock, garden mum hanging baskets, and a floral arch created with garden mums. The 2021 theme is Paradise…Mum Style!
The dazzling floral display provides a brilliant backdrop for a weekend filled with free family entertainment, arts and crafts, gardening tips, food, and sand sculpting. This year’s festival will provide entertainment including the Akron Steel Drum band, Polynesian Dancers, musical entertainment, and the Chippewa Lake Water Ski Team providing shows on Lake Anna.
For children, the Mum Festival features Kid’s Place, a children’s activity area which includes kids’ crafts, entertainment, face tattoos and more.
Volunteers are the backbone of the festival. Mum Fest requires hundreds of hours of volunteer effort. In addition to a small core group of volunteers who work year-round to plan Mum Fest, another 150 volunteers are needed the weekend of the festival. Mum Fest volunteers represent a wide spectrum of the Barberton community. Numerous groups, organizations and individuals within the community combine volunteer efforts to make the celebration of flowers possible.
The mum gardens are located at the northeast corner of Lake Anna Park at 615 W Park Avenue. Potted mums, hanging baskets and patio pots will be available for sale September 22-26.
The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, September 25 and 26, 10 am – 6 pm both days. For more information, please call 330-861-7135.
Barberton Mum Festival