FLORISSANT, MO. (KMOX) – The 55th Valley of Flowers festival and parade kicks off today in Florissant.

Mayor Thomas Schneider says it’ll include the Zoppe Italian Family Circus, carnival, car shows, flower sales and Sunday’s ‘Wonders of the World’ parade. A few things have changed since the festival began more than half-a-century ago.

“The theme at that time was to plant trees and flowers and to clean up and spruce up your business or residential property. That culminated in a carnival type festival. It’s expanded to include a lot of other events so that we’re now in two different venues,” he says.

Many assume it’s called ‘Valley of Flowers’ because Florissant means ‘flowers’.

“Florissant means flourishing, but a lot of people thought that it meant flowering valley or something like that. The French found this valley very fertile and easy to cultivate, so they called it flourishing, or florissant,” he says.

A trivia night question to remember – the city’s name used to be St. Ferdinand.

“The post office was confused as heck because everybody would address letters to Florissant and not St. Ferdinand, so they finally changed the name to Florissant in 1939,” Schneider says.

For the complete list of events, go to florissantvalleyofflowers.com

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