Groton Bucket List: Sunflowers For Wishes Festival

Whether you’re newly stationed in Groton (pssst – let us tell you why it’s not rotten) or haven’t ventured out far yet, the popular Sunflowers for Wishes Festival returns to Griswold next week, July 24-August 1.

So, what is Sunflowers for Wishes?

In 2003, at the suggestion of a friend, the family behind Buttonwood Farms planted a one-acre field of sunflowers. As they began to blossom, word-of-mouth spread and people began travelling from many miles away to admire and photograph them. When the blooms expired, the farm used them as feed for their cows, but felt they could find a better use for the flowers and later established the “Sunflowers for Wishes” fundraiser.

The fundraiser is to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut, a non-profit organization devoted to making wishes possible for children with critical illnesses.

In 2004, the Buttonwood Farms sunflower fields expanded to 10 acres, and today they plant 14 acres and harvest 300,000 blooms each summer. Because of their efforts, Griswold is now the sunflower capital of Connecticut. Since they began, Buttonwood Farms has donated over one million dollars to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Know Before You Go:

  • There is no admission fee to walk through the fields. There is a designated cut-your-own field that is $2 donation per person, followed by $2 per sunflower.
  • The farm is open daily from 10am to dusk. Ice cream shop hours vary. Don’t skimp on their famous ice cream!
  • Do not bring your own cutting tools, the farm provides them.
  • You are welcome to take photos, but take note of the photography policy.
  • Port-a-johns are available.
  • There is limited handicapped parking available near the ice cream stand. This is a working farm, so while the trails are accessible they are not easy to maneuver. The farm is not paved, so the terrain can be uneven, rocky and muddy if wet.
  • Service dogs and “well-behaved” dogs are welcome. Dogs that will not disturb the farm animals.

For more information and festival updates, be sure to follow Buttonwood Farm on Instagram @buttonwoodfarmicecream.

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