Drought means no poppies this year

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El Paso, TX (KTSM) — The Archeology Museum of El Paso recorded an estimated amount of 50,000 visitations to the poppy bloom of 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In an average year, our poppy festival attendance is up to 3,000 to 4,000 last year because of the massive bloom,” explained Jeff Romney, director of the Archeology Museum, which hosts the festival. “We estimated the people who came just to see the bloom — in addition to the festival — and we estimated 24,000 people.”

The Borderland continues to suffer from the worst drought it has seen in nearly 10 years. This led to the first time that Romney witnessed a grey season.

“I’ve never seen this happen, never … and I’ve been here for six years,” explained Romney.

He added that the poppies themselves are not the only things that have fallen victim to the D-4 drought.

“The most important thing is that there’s not just no poppies, there’s nothing. There’s not even grass — there’s just nothing, nothing is happening, everything is just beginning to die. In fact, I’ve noticed even the cacti out in the area is beginning to die,” Romney told KTSM 9 News.

Although the poppy season for El Paso is already in decline this year, all El Pasoans can do is hope for a better monsoon to provide for a massive bloom in 2022.

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