100th Coronado Flower Show draws from ‘Bridge and Beyond’, judge, 90
Miriam Yoder tends to 40-50 roses at her Spring Valley home, but still had time to help judge roses of all colors and scents at the 100th edition Coronado Flower Show the Saturday.
The 90-year-old judge is a two-decade veteran of the Coronado show at Spreckels Park, which reopened this weekend after a two-year hiatus due to COVID.
Yoder – a former rosary master who has judged shows in New Orleans, San Francisco and Santa Barbara, as well as many in Arizona and at the San Diego County Fair – looked at a sea of roses, checking the freshness, color, foliage and fragrance.
The Rose Show is just one of the features of the annual show, which includes landscape exhibits, horticulture and design exhibits, and a variety of flower competitions, including miniature flowers, bonsai and succulents.
The show also includes entertainment at the bandstand, a photography contest, food, a beer and wine garden, and children’s activities.
Amidst all the colors and scents, a tent bore a warning: “This tent contains humor related to the inner workings of the male spirit. Do not enter if you find political satire or masculine eccentricity offensive. (Flowers were mixed with humorous displays.)
The show continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 for people over 12 and free for children under 12 and seniors 100 and over. Tickets are only available at the entrance gate.
“What a great time to reunite. It’s a breathtaking day in Southern California,” said Diana Drummey, president of the Coronado Floral Association, chair of the show, which is a co-production of the Coronado Floral Association and the City of Coronado.
More than 300 volunteers prepared for the show and about 150 searched the island for the finest commercial facades and landscaping. Residents from all over the country take part in flower competitions.
Jessica Mushovic, 2023 Vice President-Elect and Co-Chair-Elect of next year’s 101st Flower Show, said, “It’s not just Coronado. This is the bridge and beyond. And we really want to create a space for everyone to come.
“Sometimes there’s this opinion that it’s just the Coronado show, but we have people coming in from all over. It’s for everyone…. A lot of people have been competing here for a while.
A design section for middle and high school teens is an idea for next year’s show, she said. This year there is a rose competition for children and a craft of making animals from fruits and vegetables.
Founded in 1922 by Harold and Maude Taylor, the Coronado Flower Show began as a simple idea to bring a divided community together.
A political battle between business factions and the Taylors has brought the community together through shared love and pride in their town, according to the Coronado Floral Association. More than 4,000 visitors are expected at the show, which will end on Sunday.
One of those visitors, Peggy Price, is almost as old as the show itself. Turning 100 in December, Price said she has been attending floral festivities since 1964, when she moved there with her husband, Admiral Arthur Price.
“I’ve been here pretty much every year,” Price said. “I used to come and bring my children’s entries. And one year I entered; they used to have a military display. I used to bring my Girl Scouts registrations. And Jobs Daughters had a hot dog stand.
“It got more sophisticated over time,” Price continued. His son, along with his scout troop, spent the night in the park supervising the exhibits in 1968.
At the rose show, veteran judge Yoder said her favorite varieties include “Black Magic.” Her husband was “George Burns”, and she recently received one called “Big Momma, with large dark pink petals.
When asked what the biggest mistake rose growers make, Yoder said he used too many chemicals. And if you’re entering a rose competition, don’t remove the leaves; they are part of the judgment.
How long will she pick the winners?
“As long as I’m physically and mentally able,” she laughed.
What does she love most about judging flowers? “People. The friendship of people and seeing the different varieties and new varieties of roses.”