For the first time in its 100-year history, the Wilmington Flower Market won't be happening this Mother's Day weekend.
The event has been canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders from Governor John Carney that are in effect until May 15, 2020. The event had been scheduled for May 7-9.
Jimmy Malick, chairman of the board for the Flower Market, called it a "difficult" decision to make during the event's centennial.
"We've always had rain dates, where we've canceled a day here and there. Over our 100 years of doing this, this will be the first time that the Wilmington Flower Market has ever had to cancel the entire event due to a national crisis," he said.
At this time, Malick said there's simply no "safe time" to hold the event.
"It is best for the safety of our patrons and the safety of the market not to have it...for the safety of our volunteers, for the safety of our patrons."
"I'm a Delawarean, born and raised...for 45 years, I've been coming to this event...and like many others, we look forward to this being one of the first spring events that kick off our year with our festivals, and we look forward to raising the money for the children, so it's really a sad thing for us," said Malick. "It's kind of out of our control."
But organizers hope to hold a mini-market in the fall in Rockford Park, if virus concerns have dissipated.
"As we start to weather through this, and we start to see a safe time when we can have it...as we get to the fall, hopefully, that will be safe. But yes we look for our partners - Forever Media, WDEL, WSTW, Jammin' - really to help us through with some of these large acts that we might be able to bring it to really give back to our community, and especially, the children on the other end."
Malick expects flower, craft, and food vendors to maintain a strong presence at this mini fall fest they're envisioning.
"Maybe we won't have spring flowers, but maybe we'll have some fall mums or pumpkins," he said.
Last year, Wilmington Flower Market proceeds went to 68 beneficiaries--all of which provide support for Delaware's children. The organization said it will weather this storm and continue to raise money for children over these next few months.
"As we all get through this, and we're all safe, and we can start planning--that will be our first attack--is how do we raise money for the children that need it most now," he said. "As we continue this, it's going to be important for Wilmington Flower Market to stay strong and look for these donations so we can continue to grow this for the children that need it most. By us cancelling and saying 'we're not raising any money,' it's going to do nothing but affect the children that are on the other side of this," he said. "That's our biggest thing that we're trying to do right now is to keep the lives of the children that we support on a steady keel throughout this problem that we're going through right now."