Popular Peony Festival is back at Oshawa Botanical Gardens June 8-9


Published May 24, 2024 at 9:04 am

Jennifer French, Oshawa Peony Festival
Oshawa MPP Jennifer French at the Oshawa Peony Festival

Oshawa’s most popular garden party returns to the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens next month for the two-day Peony Festival, one of the most popular – and certainly the most colourful – events on the city’s social calendar.

Celebrating its 20th season, the Pony Festival features one of Canada’s largest contemporary peony collections in bloom in the gardens, as well as of hundreds of cut blooms displayed inside Children’s Arena during the Canadian Peony Society-judged peony show.

The Peony Festival, which runs June 8 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, has been a popular attraction at the Botanical Gardens since 2004 and one of Festival and Events Ontario’s Top 100 events every year since 2013.

“The Peony Festival remains one of Ontario’s most highly anticipated and popularly attended events that attracts visitors from across Canada and around the world to our city,” said Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri, Chair of Economic and Development Services, who added that being named to the top 100 festival list along with prestigious events like the CNE, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Ottawa Jazz Festival and Boots and Hearts is a “tremendous honour.”

“Discover the beauty of Oshawa’s Peony Festival, where you can admire over 300 varieties of peonies in full bloom. This event is a true feast for the senses, with talented artisans, live music, and exciting competitions.”

The Peony Festival, which is a free event, features activities for all ages, including:

  • Garden-inspired works by painters, sculptors and artisans
  • Vendor market
  • Local musicians
  • A variety of food vendors to suit anyone’s taste
  • Educational talks and exhibits

New for the Oshawa centennial edition is an expanded footprint with new vendors and a childrens’ area, live theatre, photo booths (both in the gardens and inside the arena) and buskers entertaining visitors throughout the event space.

“Join us on June 8 and 9 at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens to celebrate nature’s beauty and artistic expression,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “From the vibrant blooms of the peonies to the creative works of local artisans, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

“Come and be part of a weekend filled with community, culture, and the vibrancy that is Oshawa.”

Parking is available on-street where permitted (the arena parking lot is reserved for those with accessible parking permits); at the City Hall employee parking lot across Oshawa Creek; and at the nearby McMillan Parkade. A free shuttle will stop every 20 minutes on both days at the Arts Resource Centre next to City Hall, Parkwood National Historic Site and on the northwest corner of Bond Street West and McMillan Drive.

For any would-be Van Goghs in the community, there is also a Festival Art Contest this year, with artists encouraged to create their own interpretation of the peony flower. Participants must complete an entry form online at Oshawa.ca/Peony and the submissions will be judged during the two days by more than 9,000 festival goers from across Ontario.

There is also a peony photo contest, which begins on June 8 at noon and closes at midnight July 12. Winning photographs will be selected for their artistic and technical merits as assessed by the Oshawa Camera Club. Details about the contest and the prizes can be found on Oshawa.ca/Peony.

“Come experience the magic of Oshawa’s premier festival,” added Councillor Bob Chapman. “Enjoy vibrant gardens, artistry, music, tasty treats and a celebration of beauty and community.”

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