Holding to the belief that development follows a sound city operation plan based on citizens’ requirements and cooperation, surrounded by local and governmental representatives, George Papadopoulos, launched a great flower festival. Innovative, determined and efficient, Mr. Papadopoulos undertook the set-up of a unique, multiform exhibition, on the threshold of the end of lockdown that was imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s Flower Show was very successful, despite adverse conditions due to the city’s return to normality. What did you do differently?
The Flower Show is an institution that has been taking place in our city for 67 years and it is the main promotional feature of our municipality in Greece. The Show has its own audience, visiting every year during May, which is the best season for Floriculture. Visitors are usually looking to buy quality flowers at low rates. This year, we managed to boost the purely showcasing aspect of floriculture.
The “World’s Gardens”, intricately designed and constructed by specialist Agriculturists – Landscape Architects from all over Greece, along with student volunteers from EPAS – SYGROU and ELGO DIMITRA, public bodies associated with Floriculture and Horticulture, were an additional attraction for people.
Nine different flower beds full of blooming plants from countries with a longstanding tradition in these areas, such as Greece, England, France, Holland, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico and Australia, attracted people’s admiration in the beautiful Kifissia Grove, an oasis of beauty and coolness in the center of our city.
Did you face any obstacles during the Exhibition? What were those?
The biggest obstacle was the pandemic, as we had to decide whether the exhibition would actually take place. We were making preparations up to the last minute, without knowing whether the National Committee would give us permission to carry out the exhibition. The permission was given a mere ten days before the doors to the Floral Show opened, on 6th of May, 2021. At considerable personal risk, I had moved the set up forward, without permission, as the country was still in lockdown in April. Several people associated with the exhibition had to coordinate, which was no small feat. Fortunately, everything went smoothly, there were no incidents during the Show and God willed that there was good weather during the 18 days of the show.
You have served the Municipality of Kifissia for many years, in several positions. What do you believe will bring growth?
I have loved the Municipality of Kifissia, as it is interwoven with my life. I have served from an early age, and its citizens honor me every four years by renewing their trust in me. As for growth, it will happen when there is a plan for the Municipality’s operation, based on the citizens’ requirements and cooperation.
If you could magically change something in this city, what would that be?
There are no magic solutions, there is only the truth and hard work and, above all, the love we put into what we do. Modern Kifissia may have lost some of its past magic, but our aim is to turn it into a city worthy of its natural beauty and its citizens’ quality.