Westlake in Bloom competition heats up as summer arrives

With the warm weather finally settling in throughout Northeast Ohio, it is a perfect time for Westlake’s gardeners to set their sights on the 2020 Westlake in Bloom competition.

This cherished annual tradition blossomed in 2004 after the city earned top honors in the nationwide America in Bloom competition in each of the two preceding years.

In 2002, Westlake celebrated a first-place win among cities with populations of 20,001-50,000. Although the city would have liked to try to repeat its success the following year, contest rules do not allow cities to claim the top prize in the same category more than once. Therefore, the city took a new approach the following year and found continued success in the competition.

Westlake teamed up with Kincardine, Ontario, Canada to win the “Best Twinning Partnership Award” as part of the America in Bloom International Challenge. The partner cities earned a special mention for “Floral Displays by Volunteers” as well.

It was a great point of pride for the city and its residents to know that they all were part of a community worthy of national praise.

As the City of Westlake prepares to once again host its own localized version, it does so amid a backdrop of wide-ranging struggles due to Covid-19. For that reason, this year’s Westlake in Bloom will have a special twist in hopes of once again inspiring a feeling of unity and pride throughout the community.

All residents are encouraged to participate, whether they enter the contest or not, by prominently displaying at least one plant or flower July 6-8 – when judging will take place for the contest portion.

But that’s not all. Children and young adults are invited to show off their chalk art skills on driveways and sidewalks throughout the city, depicting floral scenes and other tasteful spring-related works of art for the duration of the event.

Local gardeners can enter the competition portion online or by mail. First, second and third place awards will be selected in all categories with five or more entries, ranging from small window boxes to full-yard landscaping. Every Hilliard Boulevard flower box, Evergreen Cemetery memorial fence garden, UHSJMC/City of Westlake Community Garden plot and Adopt-a-Bed Garden will be entered automatically in the judging.

The deadline to enter is Friday, June 26, at 5 p.m. The contest rules and entry forms are available on the city's website, or by accessing this article at wbvobserver.com.

Robert Rozboril

I handle Public Relations matters and website content for the City of Westlake.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 9:50 AM, 06.16.2020