NISLAND | There was lots of empty space in the flower show building during the Butte/Lawrence county fair, thanks to a very dry and warm summer.
“It was really hard to keep things watered,” said participant Tracey Seieroe. “Even when you did keep it watered they didn’t last long.” She said her flowers bloomed quickly and died thanks to the heat. About the only thing she had much of to enter in the flower show were sunflowers which she said grew pretty well.
Superintendent Sheryl Pittman said the entry numbers were down by a large percentage and she assumed it was due to the dry weather. Those flowers that did make it into the competition showed a hardier variety than normal with sunflowers, zinnias, daisies and marigolds as the predominant types showing up in the bouquets.
A concern that Pittman had that affected a long-time category in the show was the continued existence of the Daryl Umenthum Memorial division.
“The funding in the memorial was depleted and I hated to see that category die,” said Pittman. She talked to the Whitewood 8-10 Community Club of which she is a member and asked them to fund it for this year to give some time to find another sponsor or alternative funding sources. Other special categories in the show are Cora’s Creation Special, Belle Flower Shop, Bud & Blossom Garden Special and Best of Show categories.
There are themes each year for both open class and junior division entries. This year they include a category reflecting the theme colors of the fair, red, white and blue. Other categories included Here comes Peter Cottontail, Wedding March, Fireworks, School Daze, and Rally Fever.
Judge Kay Cooper, who owned and operated the Belle Flower Shop for 26 years, said she felt that the drought definitely did contribute to the lack of entries and the limitation of available flowers.