The first South Florida Gladioli Festival was held in 1946 on a rodeo field on Atlantic Avenue. Forty thousand invitations were sent to “northern visitors.”
The 1947 festival featured 22 Orange Bowl floats, along with Miss Gladioli and thousands of gladioli.
By 1966 the event was a week-long art show known as the Delray Affair.
The 1981 Delray Affair section of The Palm Beach Post recounts the history of the festival, including the story of Ignatz, the formerly ubiquitous Delray Affair symbol.
By 1985 the annual event was drawing 100,000 people, and the 25th Delray Affair in 1988 featured the 60s band The Association (Cherish, Windy, and Never My Love).