There was more than just a snapshot of spring at Albert Hall on Saturday for the beginning of the Blooming Tasmania Flower and Garden Festival.
More than 60 exhibitors from across Tasmania joined interstate guest speakers for the first half of the annual extravaganza.
The action flowed into City Park, where food stalls and live music kept the crowds entertained.
This is the third year of the festival, but the first under the stewardship of new event manager Michael Preece.
He said early numbers indicated it could be the biggest festival yet.
“Last year we had just over 3000, so I’m hoping to get about 5000 through the door this weekend,” he said.
“We’ve done a lot to get the message out in the lead up to the event.
“A lot of the organisations and exhibitors represented here have done a great job of promoting the festival.
“Some of them are even offering specials for this weekend.”
The festival has received significant support from the region’s Rotary Clubs, including the Rotary Club of Central Launceston, of which Mr Preece is a member.
A partnership between Blooming Tasmania and the club meant visitors were able to donate to the national drought relief effort when purchasing tickets.
Sunrise Rotary Club assisted with tickets on the door, while Launceston Rotary Club manned the barbecue at City Park.
Mr Preece said the festival was build around community engagement.
“It’s taken a lot of community involvement to get the event going, and that’s how word gets around,” he said.
“Other events such as Festivale were nurtured through their first couple of years before hitting their straps, and Blooming Tasmania is no different.
“People are starting to come here with an expectation of what they are going to see.”
Homespun Succulents was among the exhibitors to return to the festival this year after attending for the first time in 2017.
The business includes kokedama and potted ranges, all of which are handmade.
Like Blooming Tasmania, the business is in its third year of operation and has managed to build up a strong following.
Homespun products can be found at the Niche Market Bazaar, also at Albert Hall, as well as selected stores across the state.
Owner Kara Lewis said the festival was a highlight of their calendar.
“It’s a pretty big event for us,” she said.
“One of the great things about it is that everyone who comes here loves plants.
“People come from all over, which is beautiful.
“Having it across two days means they have plenty of time to get here.”
The Blooming Tasmania Flower and Garden Festival will continue on Sunday, September 23.
Sunday’s highlights include a World Peace Day Flag Ceremony at City Park from 3pm.
There will also be a Pattern of Flowers workshop held in conservatory from 11am until 2.30pm, as well as live music in City Park from 1pm-3pm.
For more information, go to bloomingtasmania.com.au.