Van Wert is a special town with a special history. One part of that history is dedicated to a beautiful flower: the Peony.
At the turn of the century, during the early 1900's, Van Wert area gardeners grew this beautiful, aromatic flower in huge fields around Van Wert. Van Wert was known at that time as the Peony Capital of the world. The first Sunday in June was considered Peony Sunday, and in 1932 the celebration was expanded into the first Peony Festival.
The festivals continued until 1960 with interruptions during WWII and again during the 50's. Crowds of 100,000 in number were reported to attend the annual event in it's early years, with 2 parades held on Saturday. In 1992, it was decided to ressurect the Peony Festival which has run annually for the last 20+ years.
The festival has grown to include a fishing derby for children, free entertainment, art & vendor show, great food vendors, a free concert on Friday night funded through Van Wert County Foundation, another free concert on Saturday night sponsored by the Peony Festival Committee, a car show, self-guided garden tours, and various acts and dancers throughout the day on Saturday.