CINCINNATI, April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Continuing the tradition that began with the 113th Kentucky Derby, The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) master floral designers are honored to create "The Garland of Roses". The event will take place on Friday, May 1st, at the Kroger store located at 12501 Shelbyville Road, in Louisville, KY. Last year, more than 6,000 people came to see this all-night event.
"With the Garland of Roses being such an important part of the Kentucky Derby tradition it is a true honor for our team of floral designers to be involved," said Carol Belser, Manager of the Kroger Floral Center in Louisville.
The history of the Garland dates to 1932, when the first one was designed by Louisvillian Grace Walker at the request of Churchill Downs. It replaced a horseshoe of roses that had been presented to previous Derby winners.
The Derby Garland is 122 inches long and 22 inches wide, and weighs approximately 40 lbs. More than 450 "Freedom" roses are placed on the garland. Each stem is inserted into its own water vial hidden inside the garland backing and carefully hand sewn into place, on a layer of thorn-less greenhouse foliage.
The "Freedom" rose embodies elegance and grace in keeping with the high standards of excellence exhibited in the Derby. The roses are framed with an attractive hand-made border of boxwood, camellia and coffee leaves. To complete the design, custom-made ribbons are tied to fronds at each end and to the crown of roses at the center. A special rose is placed in the center to symbolize the struggle and heart needed to reach the Winner's Circle.
Along with the Derby Garland, Kroger is honored to create the Oaks Garland for the 24th consecutive year.
The Oaks Garland has a slightly feminine look; with more than 140 white Star Fighter Lilies. Each blossom is hand tied into its own water vial. "The Lilies for the Fillies" is 20 inches wide, 116 inches long and weighs approximately 20 pounds upon completion. The Garland is trimmed in a border of Oak Ivy leaves symbolic of this prestigious event.
Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs nearly 400,000 associates who serve customers in 2,625 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 782 convenience stores, 326 fine jewelry stores, 1,330 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and community organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.