PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Home for the holidays and the 1893 World’s Fair – these two themes are coming together at Phipps Conservatory in this year’s Winter Flower Show.

Seasons change, and so does the Phipps Winter Flower Show. Margie Rodebaugh said this year’s theme is “Home for the Holidays.”

“For instance, the hearth. We have doors in another room with wreathes. Lots of poinsetteas of different varieties all throughout the conservatory,” Rodebaugh said.

This year’s lights will shine inside and out.

“From now until the end of the show on Jan. 6, we have winter light garden out in the outdoor garden every evening, as well as candlelight throughout the conservatory,” Rodebaugh said.

It’s another first for an indoor garden that opened its doors 119 years ago this month.

The 1893 tradition is continued with the train display. The garden railroad is coming around the bend with something new this year.

Layout designer Matt Urian does a bit of pruning on a display which features the Chicago World’s Fair. The Columbian Exposition closed in November of 1893. It’s good timing for a conservatory, which opened one month later.

“It’s the fair where Phipps Conservatory got a lot of its original plants,” Urian said.

Those plants were transported by train, but you don’t have to a historian to appreciate Phipps Garden Railroad.

“The kids absolutely love it. Some of the faces when they come in you’ll hear things like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s here.’ So, they wait for this every year,” Urian said. “We added a few more moving trains than we normally have. And anything that moves, they absolutely love. And they love the little details that we hide here and there for them.”

One of those little details are the plastic dinosaurs.

“Kids love them. They move every Friday. They come in here, some kids once a week, and they know exactly what to look for,” Urian said.


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