Chet Notes Seasonal

Palm Sunday Open House More Popular Than Ever

March 26, 2011

Bring your camera to get a photo with Chetty the rabbit

Chetty the rabbitAs big box stores and fast food chains populate the landscape across the country, it is no surprise that people still look for a chance to participate in something unique. One such event is the traditional Palm Sunday Open House and Flower Show at Chester’s Flower Shop in Utica. For over 70 years, thousands of Mohawk Valley residents kick off the spring season with a visit to Chester’s on Palm Sunday.

fragrant easter liliesThe tradition began many years ago when J. Chester’s Waszkiewicz decided to display the wonderful seasonal plants and outstanding fresh flower arrangements which would be available Easter week. He added a “live duckling display” which captured the hearts of customers and their children. To this day people remember their parents and grandparents bringing them to see “the ducklings” when they were young. Chester’s original store was on Cornelia St, then moved to Columbia St and finally ended up on York St in Utica where it remains today. Today Chester’s is still run by the Waszkiewicz family, some from the fourth generation.

live duckling display at ChestersThe greenhouses have always been a special part of the Chester’s tradition, and the spring holidays are among the most colorful of times. Flowering plants such as lilies, azalea, tulips, hyacinths, hydrangea, and many more are on display during Palm Sunday and Easter week. The “Duckling display” is still a main attraction and “Chetty the Rabbit” is now very popular with the children. This oversized Easter Bunny visits the greenhouse on Sunday with a treat for the kids. Hundreds of people take a colorful photo with Chetty!! The showroom at Chester’s is also filled with outstanding fresh flower arrangements for everyone to enjoy, and terrific cash and carry flower specials too…and there is a free drawing for a floral Easter basket.

hundreds of colorful plantsEaster is late this year – as late as most of us will ever see it, so the Palm Sunday Open House is Sunday April 17th. The ducks will be around from Friday the 15th thru Easter Sunday at noon. People are encouraged to bring their cameras to capture the beauty – there is no admission charge. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit Chester’s on Saturday the 16th – almost everything will be in place and there will be plenty of room to take photos.

Chester’s is a full service retail florist serving the Utica area for almost 75 years. Located at 1117 York St in Utica, Chester’s can be reached by phone at 797-2360, or on the WEB at


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