Philadelphia (Reuters) – Organizers of the first ever Philadelphia birth show for babies with cerebral palsy announced on Thursday that more than 30,200 people attended a flower show in the city’s historic Battery Park neighborhood on Saturday, marking the largest attendance in nearly three years.
The annual event, called the Philadephias Flower Show, was the biggest single day for the city in years and drew crowds of about 30,300, organizers said.
Organizers said the event was the largest event of its kind in Philadelphia’s history.
The flower show, which drew some 400,000 people in 2010, drew crowds that were far larger than expected and that attracted thousands of people to nearby neighborhoods, including the Battery Park, where the event began.
It also drew a big turnout of people on foot, horseback and in vehicles, including a van with a red, white and blue banner proclaiming the city was home to the world’s largest flower show.
“We wanted to do something that wasn’t just about us,” said Heather Koester, president of the Philadelphia branch of the American Brain Association.
“We wanted it to be about everyone in this city.
We wanted to have an event that is a symbol of this city and a symbol for all of us.”
The Philadelphia event was meant to show the city how to show love and compassion, Koeser said.
The event was also meant to raise awareness of the brain disease, which affects about 3 percent of Americans.
“The idea is that people can feel loved and cared for in a way that they can’t feel like they’re in a wheelchair or a walking-disability,” Koesner said.
“People can see that we care about them.”
People with cerebral disabilities have a hard time making friends and understanding others, and a lack of social skills can make it difficult to connect socially, Komser said, adding that she hoped the show would make the event a regular event for the entire city.
A baby with cerebral stroke was born to a mother and father at a birth center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 26, 2019.