Last year, in an effort to limit the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and for the well-being of the public and City of El Paso employees, the City of El Paso closed all city-run museums until further notice.

As of today they remain off-limits. That includes the El Paso Museum of Archaeology. So, as a result, the annual Poppies Fest will not be held again this year.

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Perhaps it’s just as well. Word from the El Paso Museum of Archaeology is this year’s bloom is a bust compared to last year’s, which was the most widespread and abundant poppy bloom in many years. The two photos below show just how plentiful and abundant the 2020 crop was.

Poppy fields 2020(Submitted by Jeffery K. Romney)
Poppy patch 2020 (Submitted by Jeffery K. Romney)

According to museum staff, a lack of rain is the culprit this year. "Still no poppy plants. We took a walk around the property yesterday (March 9, 2021) No growth of any kind has sprouted yet," El Paso Museum of Archaeology posted on its social media.

"No grass, weeds, or poppies. Usually by now the Poppy Bloom is well underway, in fact, on the downturn. It simply has been so very dry the last 8 months overall. We have no idea what to expect this late in the season. Only Mother Nature can say."

Photos that accompanied the post confirm the bleak description.

El Paso Museum of Archaeology Facebook
El Paso Museum of Archaeology Facebook

Although a Poppies Festival isn’t happening until possibly next year and the museum remains closed, if you’re willing to make the drive to the northeast, the surrounding trails are still open to the public.

If you do go check them out and you happen to find a patch or two of late bloomers, please do not sit or lay down in the patch for photos. Smashing plants and flowers hurts seed production.

Oh, and don’t pick any to take home, either. Leave them to propagate in the wild and scatter their seeds for next year's bloom, which hopefully, fingers crossed, will be a lot more bountiful than this year.

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