The Western North Carolina Orchid Society (WNCOS) presents the 19th Annual Asheville Orchid Festival Paradise of Orchids at The North Carolina Arboretum on Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Orchid growers, breeders and regional orchid societies will present hundreds of orchids in carefully crafted displays.
“We’ve got some exciting things in store for our visitors this year,” says Michael Mims, president of WNCOS. “We plan to have more blooming orchids on exhibit from participating growers and affiliated societies from around the country and Ecuador.”
Visitors can expect to see the latest in rare species and cutting-edge hybrids produced by world-class breeders. American Orchid Society judges will recognize superior forms of orchid species, improved orchid hybrids and plants exhibiting superior culture. Thousands of orchids will be available for purchase and free orchid programs and educational lectures will be held each day.
“The educational programs are a special part of the show,” says Graham Ramsey, WNCOS’ show chair. “They cover a wide range of topics for everyone from novices to experts. Throughout the weekend, there are repotting and general culture programs, as well as guided tours through the exhibit area describing all the unusual orchids on display.”
Up to three thousand visitors are expected to attend the festival, one of the biggest international orchid shows in the Southeast. The family-friendly event is also a great way to experience the Arboretum in winter.
“This time of year is just fantastic for such a festival,” says Mims. “This venue gives us an opportunity to capture large audiences of like-minded enthusiasts and plant lovers from all around the world and offer them educational opportunities.”
The WNCOS, formed in 1962, is an affiliate of the American Orchid Society. Its mission is to share the excitement and joy of cultivating the plants and to promote orchid conservation. WNCOS invites anyone who is interested in orchids to join the organization, which generally meets on the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. at the Asheville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
The North Carolina Arboretum is located at 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville. Orchid Festival admission is $5 for adults at the door. Children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. Normal Arboretum parking fees apply. For more information, visit wncos.org or ncarboretum.org.