The hanging basket program began in 1977 when 50 small planters were hung in the downtown area. Since that time, the program has expanded to include 110 baskets hung at Whale Park as well as along Front, Stedman and Mill Streets, at the Gateway Recreation Center and at the airport. Memorial Day is usually when the baskets are hung around the town. The baskets are filled with Lobelia, Nasturtiums, Pansies, Petunias, Alyssum and Dianthus. The trailing greenery and brightly colored flowers elicit many favorable comments from residents and visitors alike. The baskets are watered, fertilized and cleaned by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Public Works Department staff throughout the summer and early fall until they are taken down and cleaned and stored for the next season.