There’s only one place in the world — Elkhart County — where you can see more than 1 million flowering blooms arranged in 17 exquisitely designed Quilt Gardens.

Volunteers in every city and town in Elkhart County — from Elkhart to Goshen and Nappanee, from Bristol to Wakarusa and Middlebury — will be out in force this week planting the Quilt Gardens, the signature event for the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

From May 30 to Sept. 15, 2019, vivid reds and oranges, radiant blues and violets, and dynamic yellows and greens will permeate the 17 Quilt Gardens and 21 Quilt Murals. The gardens and mural are free and open to the public 24 hours a day.

Visitors plan their summer around visits to see the Quilt Gardens. Instagrammers brighten their feeds with photos of the vibrant blooms. Bus groups jockey to see as many as they can while also dining at local restaurants and staying overnight at hotels during their stays. This is an event that has won awards from the Indiana Tourism Association and the Best of the Best award from the American Bus Association.

“It’s a joy every year to welcome our friends from around the country who make the Quilt Gardens part of their summertime plans,” said Sonya Nash, director of group and experiential sales & marketing for the ECCVB and Quilt Gardens project manager since its inception 12 years ago. “Our Quilt Gardens site managers and volunteers also enjoy chatting with visitors from as far away as Australia and as close as South Bend.”

For 2019, the Quilt Gardens welcome three new sites to the fold, bringing the total number of gardens to 17. The new sites are Southgate Crossing, Elkhart; Abshire Park, Goshen; and Pumpkinvine’s New Life Consignments, Middlebury.

The Quilt Gardens locations, by community, are:

  • Bristol: Elkhart County Historical Museum.
  • Elkhart: Central Park, Linton’s Enchanted Gardens, Ruthmere, Southgate Crossing, Wellfield Botanic Gardens.
  • Goshen: Abshire Park, Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, Elkhart County Courthouse, Old Bag Factory.
  • Middlebury: Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Dutch Country Market, Krider World’s Fair Garden, Pumpkinvine’s New Life Consignments.
  • Nappanee: Coppes Commons, Nappanee Center.
  • Wakarusa: Downtown Wakarusa.

There is also one new Quilt Mural site among the 21 — the Open Door Center in Bristol.

“We’re very excited to join the Quilt Gardens this year. Everyone who visits Abshire Park, but especially the bicyclists and walkers who use the Pumpkinvine Trail, will love this addition,” said Tanya Heyde, superintendent of Goshen Parks & Recreation.

The Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals are connected by the Heritage Trail driving tour. Available on two CDs at the Elkhart County Visitor Center as well as attractions throughout the county, the tour mixes fun facts, folklore and spellbinding anecdotes into an entertaining tour of the urban enclaves of Elkhart, Goshen and Bristol and the rural, Amish Country vistas of Middlebury, Nappanee, Wakarusa and Shipshewana.

The Heritage Trail was also developed by the ECCVB, helping visitors extend their stays in Elkhart County and enhancing their visits by providing shopping and dining recommendations and directions of points of interest.

The Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official tourism advertising/marketing and public/community relations organization for the Elkhart County hospitality industry. The ECCVB advances quality-of-place initiatives in our downtowns and rural spaces, parks and natural environment, arts and culture, and events, festivals, groups and activities that help forge social connections.

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For more information, contact Terry T. Mark, director of communications of the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau, at 574-262-8161 or