The Arnold Arboretum came into existence on March 29, 1872, and is marking 150 years of preserving biodiversity and connecting plants and people. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Arnold Arboretum welcomes everyone to the first public-observance of its traditional Lilac Sunday event since 2019. In addition, Arnold Arboretum Director William (Ned) Friedman announces a slate of both virtual and in-person talks on sesquicentennial themes entitled The Magic and Meaning of a Garden of Trees. The spring season kicks off on May 1 with the reopening of the Arnold Arboretum Visitor Center in the Hunnewell Building, and accelerates with the approach of Lilac Sunday on May 8. A beloved tradition in Boston for well over a century, Lilac Sunday will return on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, after a two-year pause during the pandemic.
The Arnold Arboretum's traditional Lilac Sunday for Mother's Day has been cancelled again due to the pandemic. It’s almost lilac season at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Due to the pandemic and in support of public health, the Arboretum will not hold any public programming or Lilac Sunday events this Mother’s Day. However, the lilacs will still put on a spectacular show as a diversity of species and cultivated varieties begin and continue to bloom over the next several weeks. Visitors are encouraged to come explore spring flowering at the Arboretum anytime their schedule permits this month.
The beloved Mother's Day Lilac Sunday is cancelled, and the Arnold Arboretum is telling people to not visit that day. "In keeping with CDC and Harvard COVID-19 guidelines for large gatherings, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is canceling Lilac Sunday 2020," said an Arnold Arboretum press release. "All formal activities such as tours, family crafts and science, and performances scheduled for Sunday, May 10 are suspended, and picnics will not be allowed on this or any day." The arboretum will remain open, but people are being encouraged to visit a different day. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the more than 200 lilac plants as lilac season is just beginning and stretches for several weeks, typically through late May.
As you would expect Lilac Sunday, the beloved Mothers Day celebration at the Arnold Arboretum has been cancelled. The Arnold Arboretum posted about the cancellation:
In keeping with CDC and Harvard COVID-19 guidelines for large gatherings, the Arnold Arboretum is canceling Lilac Sunday 2020. All formal activities such as tours, family crafts and science, and performances scheduled for Sunday, May 10 are canceled. Picnics will not be allowed on this or any day. But Coronavirus or no Coronavirus, the lilacs will bloom as usual from late April into late May.
If you plan to join the thousands of people enjoying Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum, here's what you need to know. First of all, don't drive. Really. Don't do it. It's good advice every year but it's crucial for Sunday's edition of the event.