Philadelphia Flower Show 2024: Flower show returns as Mayor Cherelle Parker welcomes city workers back

The Philadelphia Flower Show officially opens Saturday bringing crowds into the city at a time when the mayor is calling workers back to the office and urging businesses to do the same.

Flowers float like multicolored clouds over the heads of those lucky enough to get an early view of the flower show. Crowds will fill the Convention Center under the banner "United by Flowers," but if all goes well maybe "reunited" is a better word for a city trying to lure visitors and its workforce back.

Cait Chamberlain of Center City said, "I think it hits that wow factor. Just has that oh, we don’t feel much anymore. It’s nice to have that whimsy. We’re rushing in our lives. You get that sort of wow."

SEPTA, its ridership 30 percent short of the pre-pandemic, is trying to pull in riders. It’s adding extra trips to seven of its regional rail lines this weekend to remind flower show patrons it’s a great way to ride. Andrew Bush of SEPTA said, "this is a great chance for us to show everyone what we can do when we have more service returning. How we can get people to and from their everyday destinations and great destinations like the flower show."

On Monday, the Parker Administration is bringing back its senior staff full-time to the office. Wednesday, in an address to the business community, the mayor urged them to do the same, as she promised she’s not done.

Mayor Parker remarked, "from my mouth to your ears, we will be calling the rest back to work. We will return to work in the city of Philadelphia."

Cheese steaks will fly off the grill at Reading Terminal Market, likely to see a boost from hungry flower lovers.

Beautifully arranged flowers and this age-old market could be a perfect combination for a city trying to make new friends.

Annie Allman, the CEO Reading Terminal Market, said, "the more people that come back and experience Philadelphia, and don’t listen to its critics, and understand it’s a beautiful, walkable city with much to offer, including Reading Terminal Market."