Visitors take in Bartlett Arboretum on Easter Sunday

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 9:57 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The colors of the Easter season are in bloom in gardens around the state with an array of tulips.

But last year, families had to admire them from afar as the pandemic kept many gardens closed during the holiday.

“We just love it here. It is so soothing,” Tina Mann, a visitor at Bartlett Arboretum said. “And we love the music. It’s just a great day. Of course, the weather is beautiful.”

The Arboretum reopened on Easter Sunday, beginning with a sunrise service.

“42,000 tulips that we planted this year and the story is shown in beauty in a broken world,” Dolly Farha with the Arboretum said. “Which Robin made last year when the doors were shuttered and all these tulips were in bloom but nobody could see them.”

The tradition of plating thousands of tulips began during an earlier pandemic – the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic.

“1918 during the Spanish Influenza, the original Dr. Bartlett, the founder of the Bartlett Arboretum, his only daughter died of the pandemic and the flu and so, he started this tradition every year of planting 50,000 tulips every to commemorate her,” Farha said.

“Now, 111 years, I think so. We’re still continuing it. This year, we planted 42,000. We’ve got about 20,000 in bloom currently.”

Farha said they’ve seen a number of people take in the Arboretum as a getaway.

“We’ve had a big surge of people coming in, just being thankful for a space to gather, safely and enjoy the outdoors… Really a sanctuary, and provides grounds for people to come in and release.”

The Arboretum is looking to have concerts most Sundays this year, but there remains a challenge in booking artists because of the remaining uncertainty of the pandemic.

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