From the roses of Portland to the lilacs of Rochester, cities across the US take their flower festivals seriously.
<b>Portland Rose Festival</b><br>What started 104 years ago as an effort to make Portland, OR, a popular summer destination is now the official festival of the city. With 4 parades among the dozens of events, the Portland Rose Festival was named the 2011 "Best Festival in the World" by the International Festivals & Events Association.
<b>Washington State Apple Blossom Festival</b><br>Known for its apples, it's no surprise that Washington State would celebrate its apple blossoms. With a waterfront carnival, golf tournament and multiple parades, this 11-day festival in Wenatchee, WA, is entering its 93rd year.
<b>Poppy Festival</b><br>With the largest crop of California's state flower in the area, Lancaster, CA, is home to the Poppy Festival. The festival stays true to its motto, "Always Something New," with its variety of entertainment including acrobats, pirates and sand sculptors.
<b>Philadelphia International Flower Show</b><br>What started as a gathering of professional horticulturists in 1829 is now the largest indoor flower show in the country. With displays from the best florists and landscape designers, the Philadelphia International Flower Show also offers horticulture classes and a marketplace full of unique flowers and gardening supplies for sale.
<b>Annual Tulip Festival</b><br>Designed as a driving tour, the festival takes place throughout the Skagit Valley in Washington where farmers grow hundreds of acres of tulips. Among the tulips, enjoy festival events such as a salmon barbecue and 20-, 40- and 60-mile bike rides through the fields.
<b>Cherry Blossom Festival</b><br>Embracing the Japanese tradition of "hanami" or flower viewing, the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival in New Jersey boasts over 4,000 cherry trees in the state's "pinkest park." The festival celebrates the blooms with Japanese cultural demonstrations, live music and activities for kids.
<b>North Carolina Azalea Festival</b><br>The largest festival of its kind in the state, the North Carolina Azalea Festival in Wilmington showcases more than 50 events. The events include the crowning of an azalea queen, a circus and a garden tour where Southern belles promenade in their Sunday best.
<b>Bluebonnet Festival</b><br>While the bluebonnet may be the state flower of Texas, there is only one "official" bluebonnet festival -- and it's in the small town of Chappell Hill. Each April, the town becomes crowded with visitors looking for Texan arts and crafts, and Southern home cooking.
<b>Tulip Time Festival</b><br>The Tulip Time Festival started in 1927 when a high school biology teacher proposed the idea of a tulip festival to celebrate the Dutch heritage of Holland, MI. The town’s Women's Literary Club accepted the proposal and 100,000 tulips were planted across town, drawing visitors from all over. Today the festival is a weeklong affair with Dutch dances and costumes.
<b>Daffodil Festival</b><br>At the Daffodil Festival in Meriden, CT, a Little Miss Daffodil is crowned to kick off the festivities. Events such as live music by more than 50 local bands, plus amateur boxing and Connecticut’s largest tag sale all occur among over 600,000 blooming daffodils.
<b>Lilac Festival</b><br>The Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY, features special events such as a 5K family fun run and a wine & farmers' market. All events take place among the fragrant 500 varieties of lilac bushes -- more than 1,200 in all -- first planted in 1892 by horticulturist John Dunbar in Highland Park.
<b>National Cherry Blossom Festival</b><br>To commemorate the 1912 gift of Japanese cherry trees from the Mayor of Tokyo, Washington, DC, holds the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. With events like kimono fashion shows, sushi and sake celebrations, and bike tours around the Tidal Basin, the festival is attended by more than 700,000 people each year.
<b>Daffodil Festival</b><br>The city of Puyallup, WA, takes its Daffodil Festival seriously, crowning 24 daffodil princesses. Its Grand Floral Street Parade travels through the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting with 40 floats decorated with freshly cut daffodils.
<b>Historic Garden Week</b><br>With tours of the most beautiful gardens and homes throughout the state of Virginia, Historic Garden Week has been called "America's Largest Open House." Ever since it started in 1927 as a flower show to raise money to save the original mulberry trees at Monticello, the festival has celebrated the peak of Virginia's spring beauty.