Thousands of Sunflowers are Blooming at Dorothea Dix Park

Courtesy Dorothea Dix Park

Don’t miss the long-awaited spectacle in downtown Raleigh this summer: sunflowers at Dix Park.

by Sasha Schroeder

A crowd favorite is back at Dix Park: a sea of sunflowers. For the second time, the City of Raleigh has planted thousands of the perky plants on a five-acre field at Dix Park off of Hunt Drive, open from dawn to dusk for all to enjoy. The idea grew out of a patch of sunflowers first planted along the Neuse River Greenway Trail in 2010 as an environmental initiative by the City of Raleigh to harvest seeds to create biodiesel—the photogenic spot became so popular that last year, the City decided to go bigger, right in the heart of downtown. Catch the sunflowers while you can: peak bloom is from July 4 to July 17, and the flowers will be visible for about one week afterward. A popular time to visit is just before sunset, when the “golden hour” lighting lends itself to flattering portraits (see: the more than three million social media hits the phenomenon garnered last year). On Saturday, July 13, Dix Park will be hosting Destination SunFest to draw crowds to the field. The event will include a Ferris wheel and carousel, food trucks, craft vendors, live music and a special fireworks display at the end of the night, all for free.

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