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 displays that must be produced and maintained each year. I'd say they only rival the petunias that decorate every building (even the gas stations) in Maine.
The all-volunteer Tioronda Garden Club puts these together each year, in addition to several other arrangements throughout the city. The group is holding its annual fundraiser on Thursday, October 12, at 7 pm at St. Rocco's Hall (26 S. Chestnut St.). Admission is $25, and includes wine and cheese appetizers. Also, wines will be raffled off, and there will be several prizes from local merchants.
Petunias seem to thrive seasonally 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 (now mayor) Randy Casale 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 personally water the flowers. 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, Patriots Garden 9/11 Memorial, Howland Cultural Center, and the Visitors Welcome Center.