Sunflower Festival begins this weekend

August 17, 2018 | 4:00 am

Updated September 10, 2018 | 10:50 pm

Photo courtesy of Kevin Trunnell

This weekend, visitors to Trunnell’s Farm Market in Utica can walk the fields where 100,000 sunflower seeds were planted, as part of the first annual Sunflower Festival.

Kevin Trunnell, co-owner of the farm market, said visitors will take a wagon ride from the market down to the sunflower fields. “People can spend as much time as they want, enjoying the flowers and taking photos,” he said.

With 28 different varieties planted in the fields, there are plenty of photos to be taken. Visitors can see everything from dwarf flowers to classic yellow blooms that grow around 5 feet tall, to looming giant sunflowers that form structures in the festival space.

Included with the ticket cost is the option to pick out one sunflower to cut. If you’d like more, you can pre-purchase the option to cut six to 18.

Growing all of these beautiful flowers takes some planning. Trunnell said they started planting the seeds in early May, staggering the varieties of flowers based on their maturity dates.

“Almost all of them will be in bloom this weekend,” he said. “Mother nature plays a huge role. We do our due diligence and stagger planting, but weather dictates how or if it comes up.”

He said the rainy weather early in the year slowed things down, but they’ve had plenty of sunshine now and are actually blooming earlier than expected.

“We plan to make it an annual event, so we’re learning how to improve for next year,” he said.

See the blooms yourself this weekend from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday or noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. They’ll operate under the same hours on August 25 and 26., respectively.

Tickets are $15 until August 17, when prices go up to $25.

In addition to the festival, Trunnell’s is hosting Dinner in the Blooms, an adults-only farm-to-table dining experience held inside the sunflower fields.

Tickets for both events can be purchased online at There is also a discount code available at Texas Roadhouse, a partner of Trunnell’s Dinner in the Blooms.

August 17, 2018 | 4:00 am

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