For more than 70 years, our annual floral spectacular, the Macy’s Flower Show®, has transformed our iconic stores into enchanted gardens, full of beautiful, blossoming florals from around the world.
This year’s celebration will bring to life its fairy tale theme, “Once Upon A Springtime,” which invites guests to ‘choose their own adventure’ – from a towering castle to an enchanted forest to a lush lagoon.
We spoke to Rick Pomer, VP, Branded Entertainment, to learn more about what we can expect at this year’s Flower Show. Get a sneak peek here!
What started over 70 years ago on the West Coast as a simple fragrance promotion has evolved into a living, breathing adventure for all that attend. Promoting fragrance through the lens of flowers makes sense for a retailer, but a flower show with which a customer can interact is extremely exciting. As the show evolves, so does the audience – we’re appealing to our loyal followers, while creating something that will become a tradition for a new, expanded audience.
“The Flower Show is part of our DNA as Macy’s – it has a true following and it is the harbinger of spring.”
Our team hosted a brainstorm where we developed ideas. This year, we gravitated toward the idea of a fairy tale land of make believe — a magical world of beauty and wonder unfolding in a completely original take on classic fairy tale themes. It’s the untold story of spring, where a small but tenacious princess fights to bring light back to her beloved kingdom.
We’ve always put on a special flower show. But this year, we are introducing some really beautiful storytelling – bringing more layers to the experience than ever before. We’re setting a new standard, and we can already say that storytelling will be a part of the flower show for years to come.
Planning for Once Upon A Springtime began in July 2017. With such an iconic event, we do everything we can to stick to the timeline. At one point when we met with the window display team, they presented this beautiful dragon to us. The only problem was that it was a dark and gloomy dragon, whereas we had planned for a brighter dragon. We could either panic or find a way to move forward as a team. We ultimately revisited our story, and decided to keep the window displays as designed. We enhanced our dragon to make her color change based on her mood – something we think has really added to our story!
For a behind-the-scenes preview of what to expect at this year’s show, take a look at the sketches and plans below!
Once Upon a Springtime is coming to three iconic destinations on Sunday, March 25: Macy’s Herald Square in New York City, Macy’s State Street in Chicago, and Macy’s Union Square in San Francisco.
Once upon a time in a magical land there lived four royal sisters. Their father, the noble King of Time, divided the year into four equal seasons and gave them each a magnificent kingdom to rule. Princess Spring, Princess Summer and Princess Autumn loved their splendid seasons and were graciously content to share the year but the oldest of the four, Queen Snow, was very resentful of her sisters. She felt that since she was the eldest and a Queen, her winter season should last much longer than the others.
So one year, the Snow Queen decided she had enough of these harmonious equinoxes and devised an evil plan to make winter last forever and ever. On the last winter’s eve, she cast a tremendous blizzard across the land, which froze the astronomical clock and prevented the season from changing.
It was the beginning of March and spring was nowhere in sight. The winding rivers under the bridges were still frozen solid, the trees were covered in frosty ice and a blanket of snow stretched as far as you could see. “Where is spring?” wondered Alden the furry-tailed rabbit. “It is usually here by now. Something is not right, I must go see Princess Spring at once.”
Alden quickly hopped his way through the ice-covered Enchanted forest to the Princess’ majestic castle. Once there he discovered the Princess had fallen ill due to the unusually harsh winter.
He scurried down the narrow stairs to the great hall and into the Knight’s quarters, “Sir Dillon, I need your help, the Princess is ill and winter shows no signs of letting up!”
With not a moment to spare, Sir Dillon quickly followed Alden back to the Princess’ room. “Your Royal Highness, I am sorry to bother you when you are ill but there seems to be a problem with the vernal equinox,” said Sir Dillon, “the whole countryside is still buried under snow and the fierce winter storms are getting worse!”
“Well that explains why Bart has not brought me my magical potions,” Princess Spring weakly said. “He always comes by on the last day of February with his wagon full of elixirs and potions.” Princess Spring sent Sir Dillon to find her very wise Godmother Nature. Surely she would know why winter still persisted.
The next day, Sir Dillon returned with Godmother Nature. She informed Princess Spring that her wicked sister, Queen Snow, was responsible for the never-ending winter. The Princess was not very surprised because she knew how spiteful her sister could be.
“We must foil her evil plan,” said Princess Spring. “It is time for the green grass to sprout and the beautiful flowers to bloom. The bees need to make honey and the butterflies must come out of hibernation.”
The Princess thought to herself for a moment, if only there was a way to clear a path for the traveling merchant. The elixir would cure her illness and then she could use the potions to return the magic of spring to her suffering kingdom.
Suddenly her eyes grew wide and brightened, she had an idea!
“Godmother Nature,” asked the Princess, “We can ask Dagny the dragon to help. She can use her fire breath to melt the snow and ice so Bart can make it to my castle!”
“That is an excellent idea,” replied Godmother Nature. “But the Queen cast an evil spell on Dagny making her surly and mean, she will need to be persuaded to help.”
Godmother Nature summoned all the loyal forest creatures to a meeting and explained the dire situation to them. All were eager to help for they wanted spring to return as well. They set off to convince Dagny to help Princess Spring.
The forest creatures arrived at Queen Snow’s humungous ice castle at the furthest edge of the Enchanted Forest. It was a frigid and gloomy place. The towering trees were barren except for dangerously sharp icicles hanging from the branches and the grounds were blanketed in never-ending snow. They slipped and slid as they hurriedly scampered down the icy path into the courtyard.
“Quickly, follow me,” whispered Alden. “We cannot let the Queen see us. She will turn us into frozen statues if she catches us!”
The group headed to the back of the castle where they came upon window that led to the gloomy dungeon the Queen had imprisoned Dagny in.
“Dagny! Pssst, Dagny we need to speak to you!” Alden whispered loudly into the dark window.
Suddenly two gleaming red eyes appeared in the darkness.
“Who dares to wake me from my sleep?” snarled Dagny.
“We desperately need your help Dagny!” exclaimed Alden. “It is time for spring but Queen Snow cast an evil spell making winter last forever.”
“Why do you need my help? Princess Spring always makes spring return. That’s her responsibility,” sneered Dagny.
Alden then explained how the Princess had fallen ill and the merchant could not travel.
“We need you to help by breathing your fire to melt the snow and ice. Once the Princess gets her elixirs and magic potions she can make spring return.”
Dagny always enjoyed the cool and breezy spring mornings; she especially loved seeing the colorful butterflies flutter about the forest.
“I wish I could help but the Queen locked me in this dungeon and cast an evil spell on me. I can no longer breathe fire… only puffs of smoke,” lamented Dagny. “I haven’t felt like myself in a very long time. My skin has grown dark and dull!”
“That is not a problem!” Alden excitedly said. “We will get you out and then her spell will be broken!”
Ballari the brown-eyed doe walked over to the large wooden door and stood just below the handle, then Emmet the frisky squirrel grabbed a little twig and climbed up her back. Emmet swiftly picked the lock and opened the door. Dagny slowly lumbered out of the dungeon for the first time in many months. She let out a deep groan, stretched her massive wings and her skin color returned to its bright, healthy glow.
“Thank you!” said Dagny. “I will never forget how you helped me. Now I will return the favor!”
And with that, Dagny flew into the sky and sent long, flaming breaths swirling across the land, melting the bitter blocks of ice and freeing the frozen trees.
Bart steered his wagon into the courtyard of Princess Spring’s castle and hurried up the path to the door. Before he could knock, Sir Dillon opened the door.
“Come quickly, the Princess has been ill, she needs an elixir right away!”
Bart followed Sir Dillon quickly up to the Princess’s room. She was elated to see him. The Princess purchased the elixir and magic potion and immediately after drinking the elixir the color returned to her cheeks and her eyes twinkled happily.
“Finally I feel like my old self again!” Princess Spring merrily shouted. She called out to the butterflies that had finally awakened from their long slumber, “Please take this magic potion and sprinkle it across the whole land!”
The exuberant butterflies quickly flew off to spread the magic potion, they were eager to help spring return for they really missed the warm rays of the sun. A short while later the Princess’s room began to brighten. Sir Dillon walked over to the window and a broad smile slowly stretched across his face.
“Princess Spring, the sun has come out! You did it, spring has returned, you are a hero!”
“Oh no Sir Dillon,” the Princess said. “I did not do it all by myself, everyone helped in whatever way they could, it was teamwork that saved the day!”
Once again, the cycle of the seasons came back to life and balance returned to the lands. And as the brilliant sun rose over the kingdom and the cool, refreshing winds swirled, Princess Spring, surrounded by her faithful friends, finally felt at home. All of the loyal subjects in the four kingdoms happily welcomed the majestic return of spring.
Except for Queen Snow who, with malice in her heart, silently vowed to avenge her defeat.