Sunflower Days return to Pope Farm Conservancy

Middleton will plant the 9.5 acres of sunflowers
Sunflower Days return to Pope Farm Conservancy
John Coover

After a year-long absence, the town of Middleton is bringing back Sunflower Days at Pope Farm Conservancy.

The event, one of the area’s most well-attended, will take place July 26 to Aug. 4. According to a release, the amount of people visiting the sunflowers grew from an annual handful in 2007 to 90,000 people over 10 days in 2017.

Due to safety concerns because of large crowds, The Friends of Pope Farm Conservancy, a volunteer group, canceled the event in 2018.

“The Town Board thanks the Friends for their effort to delight our residents and many neighbors each year with the glorious sunflowers,” says Cynthia Richson, town board chair. “It’s time we take the burden from the Friends and work with event experts who will ensure public safety and the protection of this treasured asset of the town.”

The event planners are suggesting a nominal admission, parking and shuttle fee. The event plans to provide free admission for children under 12 years old.

“One of the options to solve the safety issue is to provide a shuttle bus from surrounding local parking lots. The small fee will support that effort,” Richson says. “It’s a small price to pay to bring so much joy to visitors and area families and children.”

The town of Middleton is hiring Race Day Events, a local event firm, to help host the event. A farmer who rents land at Pope Farm Conservancy will start planting the 9.5 acres with sunflowers soon for the event.