The venerable Philadelphia Flower Show, which closes this weekend, is doing its best to attract a broader range of patrons. Like young folks, maybe a few more men.
Last Sunday was for the gays. Thursday was Girls Night Out. Wednesday was for the brides.
We went with Wednesday.
There was even an actual wedding, between Philadelphia police officer Frank Kennedy and school teacher Roxanne Wilson, that took place at the main ARTiculture Garden, following a performance by trapeze artists. ballroom hosting Wedding Wednesday was packed with future brides and mothers-of, and the few people at the Flower Show not in sensible footwear.
Also, more sugar and bubbly than anyone knows what to do with. It also happened to be Ash Wednesday. Guests may have given up something for Lent but it certainly wasn't sweets -- solids or iquid. At Wedding Wednesday, the Convention Center ballroom was literally buzzing from so much sugar: Cupcakes, cookies, cake, cannoli, cake on a stick, something called S'more berries.
Libations were intensely girly: Wine from Little Black Dress, and Cupcake Vineyards, peach-flavored moscato in mini-bottles and a straw (so as not to mess up lipstick). Apparently, signature cocktails are no longer enough: One vendor recommended his and her wedding cocktails. For the men, a bourbon-based Sidecar. For the women? Pink stuff -- weddings are filled with pink stuff -- with more sugar and fruit.
Apparently, weddings are now designed to induce hypogylcemia.
Every venue in the region is a possible wedding site, and all of them were offering the same lagniappe confection, a bag of pastel macarons, as an enticement.
Pollard Surgery of Bala Cynwyd distributed menu cards of suggested nuptial procedures: liposuction, non-invasive skin tighening, breast lift. "A wedding is not just a special day. It is the beginning of a new life for the happy couple," the card reads. "Start your new life looking picture perfect & feeling confident."
Taking refuge from the sugar, and perhaps to feel more confident, we returned to the flowers. WHYY's You Bet Your Garden's Mike McGrath, a rock star in the local garden world, offered a packed lecture.
"It's not enough to beat the enemy," he told the assembled, "they have to lose."
They in this case happened to be stink bugs.
Among the assembled at the show, we spotted that rarest of flower show patrons: A man in full Flyers regalia. He should have gotten a ribbon!
Next year, organizers might consider adding Flyers Friday.