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Florists share inspiring messages behind displays at fourth annual Flower Fest

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BATON ROUGE - Hundreds of thousands of blooms and stems are being strategically placed into enchanting displays of art as floral designers prepare for the fourth annual Flower Festival.

Even more beautiful than the arrangements is the message behind them and the reason for coming together. The theme of this year's festival is "Once Upon A Dream..." and the florists are taking full liberty of sharing their own stories through their compositions. 

Lauren Landry with The Floral Hive is one of four groups of florists competing in a friendly competition with large-scale floral displays. Her group's masterpiece was designed to look like an open book that conveys a positive message. 

"It's a shadow work journal, it's a form of therapy, one of our favorites, that just is always about bettering yourself knowing that there's a lot going on in your life and it can be beautiful, it can be your own fairytale if you want it to be," Landry said. 

David Parker, a floral designer with Stems Boutique, centered his exhibition around the fable "The Ugly Duckling" to symbolize the beauty of life. 

"That's symbolic of next month, I will be celebrating 20 years as a cancer survivor," Parker said. 

Parker's cancer cost him his thyroid, and as a result, he has to take medication every day for the rest of his life. He says it's a daily reminder of his strength. 

With his display of a duckling smelling a rose and turning into a beautiful swan, he hopes to bring joy and comfort to children and families at St. Jude Children's Hospital who are enduring the same challenges he has overcome. 

"And I look forward to welcoming them into our exclusive club called 'survivors,'" Parker said. 

Attendees will vote on which floral arrangements are the "fan favorite" and "most Instagrammable." While the groups are engaging in a friendly competition, everyone who participates to benefit St. Jude is a winner. 

"It's such a beautiful event and not just because of the flowers... but its beautiful because of what we're here for. We're here for St. Jude," Landry said. 

The Flower Fest will take place at Pointe-Marie on River Road both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets at the gate are $25. 

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