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Find your floral bliss at Noblesville’s Indiana Peony Festival

Now entering its fourth year, the Indiana Peony Festival is blossoming into a weekend-long must-see event. Here’s what to expect.

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Gov. Holcomb proclaimed May 22, 2021 as Indiana Peony Day. | Photo by @indianapeonyfestival

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Stop and smell the roses — err, peonies — because the Indiana Peony Festival kicks off this weekend in Noblesville. Here’s everything you need to know about this fantastic floral festival.

🌸 Schedule of events

Peonies in the Park | Friday, May 17 | 6-9 p.m. | $150 | Enjoy an adults-only night in the beautifully decorated Seminary Park with some of Indianapolis’ most talented chefs, including Samir Mohammad (9th Street Bistro), Tyler Shortt (Tinker Street), Michael Conley (KanKan), Youssef Boudarine (J’adore/Bluebeard), and Ross Katz (RHB Resources). Guests are encouraged to dress in their favorite spring dress, dapper sport coat, or peony-inspired festive fit.

Brunch and Blooms | Saturday, May 18 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Cost of purchase | Spend your whole day in downtown Noblesville flitting between ~30 walkable merchant locations that will be offering peony-inspired food, drinks, products, promotions, and live music. You can even grab a commemorative Brunch & Blooms map at the Indiana Peony Festival tent on the courthouse lawn and get it stamped at 15 or more locations for a chance to win special peony prizes.

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Seminary Park is home to 200+ peony bushes across 1.5 acres.

Photo by INDYtoday team

Indiana Peony Festival | Saturday, May 18 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Cost of purchase | Meet in Seminary Park for the fourth annual festival with a bouquet-off, 70+ artisans and vendors, horticulture classes, kids’ activities, food and spirit trucks, and blooming photo opps galore.

Think you have a green thumb? Enter the peony contest on Saturday by bringing a homegrown single stem to the gazebo between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It’s free to participate, and winners will be announced at 3 p.m.

🌸 Know before you go

Parking: Make sure you wear comfortable shoes for walking. Street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods is free, as well as in these nearby lots.

Traffic: Several roads in the area are currently closed for construction, including sections of Conner Street and Pleasant Street. Here’s a helpful map, which also outlines where you can catch a shuttle to the festival instead of walking.

Pets/strollers: Since the festival is fully outdoors, dogs are welcome. You know your furry friend best — don’t bring them if they don’t do well in crowds. Kids are also aplenty at the festival, and there’s even a dedicated kids area with activities. Just keep in mind that the crowds may create some difficulty in navigating the park if you have a large stroller.

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Make sure you hit the festival early on Saturday to get the best pick of peonies from dozens of florists before they sell out.

Photo by INDYtoday team

🌸 Why the peony?

Peonies became the state flower in 1957, when Gov. Harold Handley signed a bill in honor of Rep. Laurence D. Baker and his wife, who started their peony business in 1925 + planted peonies on the Statehouse lawn.

Decades later, Festival CEO + Noblesville resident Kelly McVey discovered her love for the peony, and the idea to host the festival at Seminary Park bloomed from there. Last year’s festival drew more than 25,000 visitors.

The Indiana Peony Festival is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire Hoosiers to celebrate the state flower, enhance Noblesville through peony beautification projects, and promote Hamilton County as a destination during the month of May.