Bridge of Flowers set to open April 1 in Shelburne Falls

By BELLA LEVAVI

Staff Writer

Published: 03-30-2023 6:17 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — The Bridge of Flowers will open for the season on Saturday, April 1, weather permitting.

“Once the gates are open, people can walk across and enjoy watching the wonderful plants come up this spring,” said Carol Angus, co-chair of the Bridge of Flowers Committee, which manages the iconic tourist attraction.

Along with the bridge’s opening, the committee will host its annual plant sale on Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to noon at the corner of Main and Water streets.

The sale will include a variety of colorful geraniums and more unusual annuals.

“Prices are reasonable,” Angus noted.

Many of the plants come straight from the bridge’s flower beds and are cared for in individual pots leading up to the sale. Other plants available at the sale are donated by local gardeners.

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People are able to scout out their desired plants before 9 a.m., but sales only start when a bell is rung at the starting hour.

“When the school bell is rung, there is a big dash,” Angus recounted.

For people who are more interested in visiting the Bridge of Flowers itself, this spring is predicted to be a great year for blossoms along the old trolley bridge.

“Spring viewing should be more spectacular than usual,” said Annette Szpila, co-chair of the Bridge of Flowers Committee. Szpila explained volunteers, called the “Blossom Brigade,” planted hundreds of spring bulbs last fall — more than in other years — that should be ready to bloom as soon as the bridge opens.

“We appreciate everyone coming to visit the bridge,” Szpila said. “We want to make sure as many people as possible get to see it.”

The Bridge of Flowers was started in 1929 by the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club, members of which hoped to beautify the village by creating a garden on a defunct trolley bridge. Since then, the garden has been almost completely maintained by volunteer labor.

Although the bridge did not open at all in 2020 as a health safety precaution at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world-famous tourist attraction rebounded in June 2021. It is typically open annually from April 1 to Oct. 31.

“We are looking forward to a good year,” Szpila said.

For more information about the Bridge of Flowers, visit bridgeofflowersmass.org.

Bella Levavi can be reached at 413-930-4579 or blevavi@recorder.com.

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