Hibiscus Festival

The Hibiscus Festival – May 3rd, 4th & 5th, 2024

Located in Gilchrist Park, 400 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL

Brought To You By: The Hibiscus Committee for the benefit of The Charlotte County Historical Society

We are so excited to bring the Annual Hibiscus Festival back to beautiful Gilchrist Park!

This one-of-a-kind celebration was the vision of local resident Dawn MacGibbon. She and a small group of colorful, fun-loving locals held the first Hibiscus Festival in 2004. They wanted to celebrate and share the unique history and character of their town and its connection to the hibiscus and one of the world’s most renowned hybridizers, Harry R. Goulding.

Hibiscus Festival – This one-of-a-kind celebration began in 2004. The festival celebrates and shares the unique history and character of one of the world’s most renowned hibiscus hybridizers, Harry R. (Pete) Goulding. The festival includes food, music and large numbers of craft and plant vendors. It is held in early May. WWW.HIBISCUSFESTIVAL.COM

Goulding was a character of sorts, known to some as an accountant, to some a rum runner, and to others a fisherman. But by far he was known by all for his world class, award winning hybrid hibiscus plants. Harry would start with 2,000 seedlings a year and grow some 60,000 varieties of hibiscus over 60 years. He won many accolades and awards including the prestigious American Hibiscus Society show’s “Best in the World” category five times.

With great privilege, love, and honor, the Society hosts a festival every year in May celebrating the history of lifelong resident Harry R. Goulding, the beloved hibiscus plant, and Punta Gorda – The City of Hibiscus.

Gilchrist Park, Punta Gorda