All’s Fair At Macy’s 44th Annual Spring Flower Show

Revolving carousel at Macy’s Spring Flower Show

New York City’s Macy’s Day Parade is an American fall tradition with its festive floats, high school marching bands and trademark balloons. But until this weekend, I had never heard of another spectacular show sponsored each spring by the 100-year-old department store. That is, the Macy’s Flower Show; a show so big that it transforms an entire floor of the giant Herald Square building into a veritable garden extravaganza.

Early 20th century photo of Macy’s Herald Square/

Each spring for two weeks, the Macy’s Flower Show draws thousands of New Yorkers and tourists alike to its flagship store to marvel over the many beautiful floral installations. Crafted from millions of fresh flowers, thousands of exotic plants and large-scale live trees, the theme-based displays fill the first floor of the iconic, 2.2 million square-foot building.

This year’s show ( the 44th annual installment at the Herald Square location) is a salute to the American carnival. Interwoven with the stores’ vintage architecture and glittering merchandise is an old-time amusement park reimagined in flowers.  Colorful and bold, the large-scale floral installations embellish every nook and cranny of the first floor including a series of carnival arcades, miniature amusement park rides, circus animals, ticket booths and even fun-house mirrors.

The main attraction is a gorgeous revolving carousel featuring hand-sculpted carousel horses and fantastical creatures festooned with colorful flowers from around the world.

A carousel bunny moves up and down while sporting a spring bouquet

Close-up of one of the carousel horses

Just behind the carousel, visitors pass under a series of brightly-painted arcades teeming with colorful flowers. The whimsical blooms, bold stripes and crooked, block-like lettering are all designed to give the feel of an early 20th century fair.

There’s even a fun ‘ticket booth’ filled with tulips, orchids, larkspur and Asiatic lilies sporting a crown of purple dracaena.

Close-up of the ticket booth

This circus lion presides over a bed of blue cineraria, pink calla lilies, salmon Rieger begonias and the hot pink bromeliad ‘Neo Puppy Love.’

Today, March 26, was Opening Day. I happened on Shirley Bovshow, landscape and garden lifestyle expert on the Hallmark Channel’s ‘Home and Family’ posing for photos in this colorful flower ‘shop.’ She was giving a class later on how to make floral cakes.

In the Thrills Section, a lipstick red ferris wheel, bumper cars and pinwheels serve as props for bright colored aloe, Peruvian cactus, anthurium, dwarf pandanus, calathea rattlesnake and moth orchids.

Floral ferris wheel with buckets of fresh flowers

The Scent Event offers visitors an opportunity to truly indulge in the heady aromas of the many flowers.

In this series of letter-shaped booths you can step inside to view a moving image of a single flower while simultaneously being enveloped by its fragrance.

While just around the corner, man-made fragrances mix with floral ones in imaginative counter displays.

There’s also a map if you want to know more about the flowers.

A few more great images from this beautiful show.

On view until April 9, the Macy’s Flower Show promises to put a spring smile on your face. Don’t miss out if you’re in the area.