The baskets of hanging petunias that line the mile of Main Street in Beacon are some of the biggest around - maybe in the country - for a series of flowers produced and maintained each year. I'd say they only rival the petunias that decorate every building in Maine, even the gas stations.
The all-volunteer Tioronda Garden Club puts these together each year, in addition to several other arrangements throughout the city, and is holding their annual fundraiser on Thursday, October 12th at 7pm at St. Rocco's Hall at 26 South Chestnut Street. Admission is $25, and includes appetizers of wine and cheese. Wines will also be raffled off, in addition to several prizes from local merchants.
Petunias seem to thrive in Maine's climate with the damp, cool, salty air. Beacon has humid air, certainly, but not as much rain, and the petunias don't water themselves, as they do in other cities with irrigation systems. Years ago, the City of Beacon removed watering them from the budget, and then councilperson Randy Casale (now mayor) and former city councilperson Sam Way took it upon themselves to use their early morning time to go around in the cherry picker truck and water the flowers themselves. Learn more about the Secret Gardeners of Main Street here. This year, Randy and Sam are the honorees at the Tioronda Garden Club's fundraiser.
According to the Beacon Free Press, the Tioronda Garden Club maintains flower arrangements in the following areas: the Beacon train station, Municipal Plaza, Memorial Park, George Washington Triangle, Patriot's Garden 9/11 Memorial, Howland Cultural Center, and the Visitors' Welcome Center.