OFFBEAT: India and the elephant theme for 2013 Macy's Flower Event

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-03-21T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: India and the elephant theme for 2013 Macy's Flower EventBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

Over the years, I've seen a variety of themes for the annual flower event at Marshall Field's, and later Macy's department store location on State Street in Chicago.

Some years, it's been centered around fairies, and other times, a European flower market angle, and most recently, a salute to Brazil.

Each year, it's something fresh and different.

For 2013, it's a planned floral wonderland of multicolored jeweled splendor that is taking root (for a limited time) at the annual Macy's Flower Show at Macy's on State Street starting Sunday through  April 7.

This year's theme is "The Painted Garden," with the majesty of India and Middle Asia in brilliant colors, aromas and textures highlighted.

The landscape of the 9th Floor of Macy's on State Street will unfold with exotic floral displays to celebrate the remarkable beauty native to India and Middle Asia.

Macy's has been doing the annual flower show event since the first floral exhibit launched in 1946. (The Marshall Field's version was called "Flowering Fields.")

Today, it showcases millions of live flowers, plants and trees from around the globe.

"Again this year, the spring flower show at Macy's State Street, will transform a sprawling space on its 9th Floor into a garden of wonder" said Robin Hall, senior vice president, parade and entertainment group, who heads the in-house team that produces the event.

"We're calling our show 'The Painted Garden' since it will feature exotic architectural settings and vivid gardens brimming with flowers, plants and trees drenched in the brilliant jewel tones and spice market colors one would see in India and throughout Middle Asia."

I'm told a stunning, multicolored 10-foot tall elephant will welcome spectators into the radiant splendor of this year's show. The elephant centerpiece will sport grand ornamentation in the ceremonial style of India, covered in a blanket of organic button flowers, straw flowers, yarrow, lavender and more. The painted leviathan will bear a royal howdah (carriage) adorned with colorful plants and flowers.

Macy's Flower Show officially celebrates the start of the spring season (which was Wednesday, according to our calendar) and showcases some of Chicago’s most talented and creative floral and entertaining designers. The "Bouquet of the Day," one-of-a-kind centerpieces that rotate on the first floor of Macy's on State Street, convey the personal style of each of the designers. Whether traditional, contemporary or abstract, these limited-time floral masterpieces are always a highlight of the show.

The Macy's Flower Show is also the perfect backdrop for two weeks of in-store special events, including fashion shows, cooking demonstrations and celebrity appearances.

Free to the public, Macy’s Flower Show is open during regular store hours. For additional information about this event, call (312) 781-1000 or visit

Macy's Flower Shows are held at just five of the flagship stores across the nation, including Macy's Herald Square in New York City, Macy's Union Square in San Francisco and Macy's Minneapolis and Macy's Center City in Philadelphia, in addition to our very own landmark Windy City location.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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