The 2018 Maine Flower Show in Portland was a disappointment to me.

I had called the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association, which puts on the show, about one month before the event to see if handicapped parking would be available this year since it was not available last year. Last year we never even got into the building due to the parking situation. I was told there would be extra parking this year, with satellite lots for buses as well as lots away from the building with a golf-cart shuttle.

We showed up at the show, waiting in line for parking, where the attendant working the line waved us toward a parking lot. We had a handicapped placard placed prominently on the windshield and asked the attendant about handicapped parking. He waved us up toward the building where buses were unloading, and the only handicapped spaces we found were blocked off with traffic cones. I had to be dropped off in front of the building and my daughter, who was driving, had to park in a lot at the back of the building.

Handicapped parking does not mean only wheelchair access by bus. It also includes private vehicles – people with canes and walkers.

Once we got inside the building, it was difficult to navigate and figure out the layout of the exhibits. The lighting was very poor: I could not see the floor and the gardens were not lit well enough to see all of them. These issues detracted from my enjoyment of the show. I felt that the building at Thompson’s Point is too old and cannot be efficiently used for this show.

By the way, I never found proper handicapped parking. Nor did I see a golf cart.

Mary Jane LeCours


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