Each year, Marietta Main Street hangs flower baskets on the lampposts in downtown Marietta. Over time, as Marietta’s downtown district grew with new businesses and new programs, Main Street also grew their downtown flower program that now installs 350 hanging flower baskets full of petunias throughout the city’s commercial district.

This year’s Marietta Main Street’s fundraising goal for the downtown flower campaign is $21,000 to fund each flower basket as well as the six hours a day for 145 days it takes in labor to water and maintain the baskets, all managed by Jay Huck and his team at Huck Greenhouses. So far, 270 baskets have been sponsored since the campaign launched in early April, with 80 remaining.

“In 2018, we launched an annual Mother’s Day Fundraising Campaign to cover the costs of our downtown beautification program. Last year, in 2020, we changed the focus of this campaign to one of hope,” said Executive Director, Cristie Thomas. “With the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the closure of downtown businesses, our Flowers for Hope campaign brought together nearly 200 donors to sponsor downtown lampposts and ensure our beautiful purple petunias decorated downtown.”

Flower basket hung on corner of Front and Butler Streets (Sarah Arnold)

Many businesses are back open but some are not; the struggle to balance operating costs against occupancy limits and continued restrictions loom into the spring and summer months. “We are hopeful that this summer will be one where tourists flock back to Marietta, shoppers and diners are out and about safely supporting local businesses, and events bring folks from across the Mid-Ohio Valley to downtown Marietta to enjoy our river views and fun festivities,” said Thomas.

Marietta is a beautiful, friendly city and we are grateful to each and every basket sponsor who supported this year’s effort to care for our community.

The organization is seeking donations from area individuals, organizations, and businesses to join in the effort to beautify downtown for the summer season. Flower baskets can be sponsored In Honor of or In Memory of anyone of the sponsor’s choosing, including those who make or have made a positive difference in Marietta.

Baskets in front of The Cook’s Shop on Front Street (Cristie Thomas)

“Basket sponsors will be listed on our Beautification webpage and also have a tag displayed for each sponsored basket on a downtown lamppost throughout the summer,” said Thomas.

Basket sponsorships are $75 each and sponsors have an option to contribute an additional $25 as a donation to Marietta Main Street in support of the nonprofit’s mission to continue revitalizing downtown. The deadline to sponsor a flower basket is Friday, May 7th. The baskets will be hung throughout the city over the next few weeks, weather depending, with the tags being installed late May.

“Downtown Marietta is charming the whole year through but over the summer, flower baskets had an extra special touch of vibrancy and hospitality as travelers come into town to visit with loved ones, explore our city, and enjoy shopping and dining locally,” said Thomas. “Marietta is a beautiful, friendly city and we are grateful to each and every basket sponsor who supported this year’s effort to care for our community.”