The 42nd annual Victoria Flower Count takes places March 6 to 12.

The 42nd annual Victoria Flower Count takes places March 6 to 12.

Flower Count in full bloom next week

Despite the recent blast of snow, one of Victoria's oldest traditions will soldier on this year.

Despite the recent blast of snow, one of Victoria’s oldest traditions will soldier on this year.

The 42nd annual Flower Count takes place next week. As part of the decades-long tradition, every spring, residents and school children count the number of blooms on Greater Victoria sidewalks, in yards and throughout parks and gardens.

According to Tourism Victoria president and CEO Paul Nursey, the Flower Count is a chance to showcase Victoria’s mild climate to other Canadians and Americans from colder states.

“At its heart, the Flower Count is a fun event. It’s not science but it does capture the imagination of people who don’t enjoy the kind of incredible climate we have. When the Weather Channel sends a reporter to Victoria to cover Flower Count, we have a great opportunity to showcase our beautiful city and natural environment to folks across the country,” he said.

“That is great publicity that raises awareness about Victoria and gives potential visitors a great reason to book their next vacation here.”

It’s an event that started to blossom in the late 1960s when members of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce started a promotion called “Victorian Days.” In late February, they would visit cities such as Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg, handing out daffodils to the public.

In 1976, the event expanded to involve Victoria residents to create a story through the counting of February flowers, and shortly after, the Victoria Flower Count was born.

Last year, volunteers from around Greater Victoria counted 25.9 billion blossoms. The “bloomingest” community was Colwood for the third year in a row, followed by the municipality of North Saanich and the City of Victoria.

The Flower Count takes place March 6 to 12. For more information visit flowercount.com.