The Isle of Man Flower Festival attracts visitors from around the world.
The 2015 festival, with the theme Our Community, will burst into bloom from July 5-11.
Geoff Corkish MLC, deputy chairman of Culture Vannin, spoke at the event’s official launch in Elim Pentecostal Church, Onchan. He said: ‘What I have found is we have got people who come over very regularly from all over the world to come to the Flower Festival.
‘They time their holidays for the Flower Festival. That says a great deal for the organisers and what they have done with the Flower Festival.
‘It is very much part of our community here in the Isle of Man.’
Culture Vannin is a supporter of the event and Mr Corkish said: ‘We are very pleased to see what can be done and what is being done.
‘To the sponsors, to those people involved in the actual work, to the organising team I say well done and continued success with what you are doing because it is part of our community, it is a part of Isle of Man PLC.’
Another main supporter of the festival is Connect2Charity.
Director Tracy Kinrade told the launch: ‘Connect2Charity has had an involvement with the festival over the last couple of years and we are joined this year by Culture Vannin and we would like to say a very big thank you to them.’
There are 17 venues taking part in 2015, including churches, Manx National Heritage sites and a joint project between Milntown and Bunscoill Rhumsaa.
Head gardener at Milntown Juan Quane said: ‘It is quite amazing what the younger element has come up with.’
Bishop Robert Paterson also had high praise for the festival, which he said had seen innovation and invention in previous years.
‘I am looking forward to the festival, not only because it is a time of great community and a time to attract visitors but it is also a time for making us think,’ he added.
Flower Festival committee chairman Judy Matthews thanked her colleagues, sponsors and all the volunteers for their help and support.
This year the photographic competition will accept only digital entries, up to a maximum of four per person. The theme is Our Community and pictures must have been taken in one of the festival venues.
Programmes for the festival have now been published and are available from a variety of outlets.
The festival will see, in addition to stunning floral displays, a range of activities including concerts and exhibitions.
The official list of venues is St Mary de Ballaugh, Ballaugh; St Patrick’s Church, Jurby; St Andrew’s Church, Andreas; Milntown and Bunscoill Rhumsaa; The Grove Museum, Ramsey; Trinity URC, Ramsey; Ramsey Independent Methodist Church; Christ Church Dhoon, Glen Mona; Christ Church, Laxey; Onchan Elim Pentecostal Church; Onchan Methodist Church; St Matthew’s Church, Douglas; The Abbey Church, Ballasalla; The Nautical Museum, Castletown; Port Erin Methodist Church; St Peter’s Church, Cregneash; St German’s Cathedral, Peel.
Opening times may vary, so it is worth checking the website www.flowerfestival.im or the programme for full details.
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