Spring Delights at Flower Mart

April 30, 1991

Just a reminder: The annual Flower Mart will be held at the base of Washington Monument tomorrow. Which is as good an excuse as one can think of to take a stroll through Mount Vernon Place, get some lunch, buy flowers and just enjoy crowds of smiling people having a good time.

Each year since 1911 -- with a few interruptions for wars and other calamities -- the Women's Civic League has welcomed the spring with this festive Flower Mart, which by now is one of the oldest surviving civic traditions in Baltimore City. This year's proceeds will go toward the preservation of 9 N. Front Street, home of Thorowgood Smith, the second mayor of Baltimore.

Through many of its early years, the Flower Mart was one of the red-letter days on the society calendar. Even though it no longer generates as many spin-off parties as before, it still is as delightful as the lemon sticks that are its unofficial trademark. A 1955 song was even composed to celebrate the Flower Mart:

There's a very gay affair

In which all the people share

In the merry, merry month of May!

There are flowers to be bought

And the lemon sticks are sought

And the music of the band will play. . .

The city's Flower Mart also provides an opportunity to take advantage of the free Wednesday admission to two nearby cultural institutions. The Maryland Historical Society, with its collections, is a short walk west of the square, past the new Caswell J. Caplan memorial fountain. South of the square is another gem, the Walters Art Gallery.

One day may not be enough to take it all in. But the good thing about the Flower Mart is that it can serve as an introduction to year-round pleasures near Mount Vernon Place.

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