Ever-changing natural beauty


By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]



From left, judges Anna Luellen, Linda Houston and Barb Rothenberger confer as they judge an entry in the Horticulture Show at the Missouri State Fair Wednesday morning. The exhibits in the Floriculture Building change daily, giving visitors to the building something new to see and enjoy each day.


A photograph of lilies hangs above a group of dahlias in the Floriculture building. The photography competition is new to the Floriculture Show this year. Floriculture Superintendent Bev Gerke said she hoped to have 20 entrants this year but was thrilled when 101 photographs were submitted.


A portion of a park bench planted with succulents received multiple blue ribbons in this year’s horticulture show. The bench was entered by Jason Finkeldei, of Blackburn.


Floriculture Superintendent Bev Gerke leans on her watering can after commenting that she really would like to take a nap. Gerke complimented her staff for the long hours they put in during the Fair.


By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

From left, judges Anna Luellen, Linda Houston and Barb Rothenberger confer as they judge an entry in the Horticulture Show at the Missouri State Fair Wednesday morning. The exhibits in the Floriculture Building change daily, giving visitors to the building something new to see and enjoy each day.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_tsd082015flowers1.jpgFrom left, judges Anna Luellen, Linda Houston and Barb Rothenberger confer as they judge an entry in the Horticulture Show at the Missouri State Fair Wednesday morning. The exhibits in the Floriculture Building change daily, giving visitors to the building something new to see and enjoy each day.

A photograph of lilies hangs above a group of dahlias in the Floriculture building. The photography competition is new to the Floriculture Show this year. Floriculture Superintendent Bev Gerke said she hoped to have 20 entrants this year but was thrilled when 101 photographs were submitted.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_tsd081915flowers2.jpgA photograph of lilies hangs above a group of dahlias in the Floriculture building. The photography competition is new to the Floriculture Show this year. Floriculture Superintendent Bev Gerke said she hoped to have 20 entrants this year but was thrilled when 101 photographs were submitted.

A portion of a park bench planted with succulents received multiple blue ribbons in this year’s horticulture show. The bench was entered by Jason Finkeldei, of Blackburn.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_tsd081915flowers3.jpgA portion of a park bench planted with succulents received multiple blue ribbons in this year’s horticulture show. The bench was entered by Jason Finkeldei, of Blackburn.

Floriculture Superintendent Bev Gerke leans on her watering can after commenting that she really would like to take a nap. Gerke complimented her staff for the long hours they put in during the Fair.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_tsd081915flowers4.jpgFloriculture Superintendent Bev Gerke leans on her watering can after commenting that she really would like to take a nap. Gerke complimented her staff for the long hours they put in during the Fair.

Each exhibit to the Missouri State Fair has something interesting to see. Some of the most colorful and constantly changing exhibits at this year’s Fair can be found daily in the Floriculture Building.

“Every day there is a different show,” Floriculture Superintendent Bev Gerke said. “We change the displays daily and have different speakers and presentations for our visitors.”

One aspect to the Floriculture show that is brand new this year and will remain on exhibit throughout the Fair is the plant and flower photography exhibit.

“I’m kind of an amateur photographer myself,” Gerke said. “I have wanted to have a photography contest here for a long time. I am so pleased and excited to see all the entries we received.”

Gerke said she was hoping for 20 entries in the initial event, but was thrilled when there were 101 entries this year.

The photography exhibit has proven to be a crowd favorite.

The rose show hosted earlier this week was another extremely popular show.

“The roses are always a big draw,” Gerke said. “I think it is because we have such a large number of entries in that show and because everyone appreciates the beauty of roses.”

This year’s weather did have an effect on the number of entries in the Floriculture show.

“I do think our entries were down slightly because of the weather,” Gerke said. “I work as a landscaper and I know it has been a rough year for everyone.”

In her second year as superintendent, Gerke has worked to bring new features and events to the show, but she would also like to return to some of the exhibits she remembers as a child.

“I have been coming to the Fair since I was a year old and I’ve only missed one since then,” Gerke said. “I wasn’t here in 1983 when my daughter was born.

“I remember the floating water trough where the flowers passed by on a wooden blocks,” she added. “I was always mesmerized by them.”

The gladiola show is one that Gerke would also like to see return.

“I love doing what I do,” Gerke said. “I know I couldn’t do this without my staff though.”

Gerke said there are some extra demands placed on her staff because the exhibits change daily.

“We start at 7 a.m. when people start to bring their exhibits in,” Gerke commented. “We are here until 9 p.m. when we start to switch out that day’s exhibits and get ready for the next show.

“I know we all would really like a nap about now,” she added with a smile. “But I also know that we all love doing this and we hope it brings some joy to our visitors.”

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

Sedalia Democrat

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

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