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Petunia Pandemonium at crossroads in city of Marquette

Today marks the 33rd annual planting of Petunia Pandemonium, a beloved yearly tradition that has beautified the southern gateway to Marquette for decades.

The planting, which was to take place starting at 10 a.m. today on the west side of U.S. 41 between Furnace and Genesee streets, involves volunteers of all ages planting thousands of annuals that serve as a a colorful welcome to the city of Marquette.

“When you go into a city for the first time, impressions are extremely important,” said Barb Kelly, Petunia Pandemonium chairperson, told the Journal.

We agree.

This tradition, organized by the Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee Inc, shows visitors and tourists how much our residents care or the area while treating them to a delightful pop of color on their journey. And for locals, it’s a well-known tradition that tends to elicit a smile with each mention or viewing of the flowers. For those of us who have lived here for more than a year or two, it’s hard to imagine a summer without the thousands of brilliant blossoms along U.S. 41 in south Marquette.

However, this year marks the last Petunia Pandemonium for a while, the Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee told the Journal.

The MBRC said South Front Street between Furnace Street and the roundabout will be redesigned in the summer of 2022, so there will be no flower planting next year. The $80,000 irrigation system installed by the committee will be “largely destroyed,” organizers said, but fundraising efforts will be initiated to re-establish the necessary water to make the plants flourish.

We encourage our readers — and local businesses and organizations — to consider donating to the Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee in light of the upcoming need.

Tax-deductible donations supporting the committee’s efforts can be mailed to MBRC, P.O. Box 334, Marquette, MI 49855 or donated at mqtbeautification.org.

Furthermore, the committee was unable to hold fundraisers in 2020 but will host its annual Garden Tour this summer, which is fun way to enjoy the beauty of Marquette while contributing to the committee’s efforts.

We commend the committee for all of its efforts to beautify the city over the past several decades, as it not only provides the visual delight of Petunia Pandemonium each summer, but also provides volunteers, viewers and visitors with the priceless gift of fond memories for years to come.

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