Workers Assembling Flower Peacock in Kalamazoo

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) -- Construction of the latest flower peacock in Kalamazoo's Bronson Park is under way.
Volunteers with Kalamazoo in Bloom met Tuesday to begin building the nonprofit organization's annual flower peacock.
This year's creation will be named Mike, after Mike Blakely, a Kalamazoo in Bloom volunteer who died recently and helped build previous peacocks.
"He's trained me two years to do this," volunteer Gary Stratton told the Kalamazoo Gazette. "He knew he was coming to the end."
Blakely decades ago brought the peacock's designs over from Germany, and it was assembled at OIK Industries in Kalamazoo County's Cooper Township.
The same frame has been used since the first peacock was assembled 27 years ago, said Kalamazoo in Bloom volunteer and master planter Don Weaver.
The peacock is built by lining the frame with tarps and pouring about 2,280 pounds of soil into the body and head. The head is to be attached to the body by crane on Thursday, and the peacock's flowers are to be planted May 26.
The peacock production costs about $2,000, said organizers, who worry about whether it will be back next year, citing a decrease in donations to Kalamazoo in Bloom.
"The possibility is we might not be able to do it if it comes down to it," Weaver said.

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