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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 2:43 am | Overcast 54º


10 Things to See and Do at Santa Barbara International Orchid Show

The 70th annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show is fast approaching, and here are 10 things to enjoy at the crown jewel of international flower showcases.

Orchids will be coloring the scene of the Earl Warren Showgrounds with the rarest, most magnificent orchid specimens from all over the world on March 13-15. The impressive exhibit — one of the oldest and largest in the United States — celebrates its 70th year as not only a display of the finest orchids, but also as a testament to Santa Barbara’s role as an historical haven for many phenomenal orchid varieties that would have otherwise disappeared into war-torn history.

» 1. The First Look. You will be greeted in the visitor center by a colorful overdose of orchid flowers from around the world. The first look is impressive, so take pause and enjoy the first visual experience of the 2015 theme, Celebrate with Orchids. "And it's fragrant," she notes.

» 2. The Fragrance. Many species of orchids attract their pollinators by their smell.  The aroma of the show is floral and romantic. Many orchids have been bred to emit beautiful scents, and show-worthy orchids entries are no exception.

» 3. The Grand Orchid Exhibits. The large displays by orchid nurseries and botanical enthusiasts are a must-see! The time intensive displays are made by artisans, gardeners, florists and parade float professionals. This year’s theme “Celebrate with Orchids” will not disappoint.

» 4. Reigning Display Champion. Ventura Farms has won the Best In Show Display and top exhibit prize for the past five years, since 2000. Past Ventura Farms displays have incorporated water features, a bridge, waterfalls, and even a real Cadillac. What will Ventura Farms bring this year?

» 5. Orchid Selfie Photo Booth. Orchids have become the top-selling potted flower plant in America. Flower lovers of all ages will be adopting new orchids at the show. We invite them to stage a photo shoot with their new flower companions in the orchid selfie photo booth.

» 6. Time Lapse Video Booth. Love the dancing flowers scene from Disney’s Fantasia, 1940 animated film? Enjoy watching Vines or Instagram video clips? So do we! Now you can share your mini film making talents at the #SBorchidshow Orchid Vine Mini Film Studio.

» 7. 70 Years of American Orchid History. Since debuting as a premier showcase for the area’s orchid lovers and connoisseurs in 1945, the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show has played host to some of the finest orchids in the world. At its 70th anniversary event in 2015, visitors can expect to be wowed by lavish garden displays, artistic floral arrangements, and meticulously designed corsages.

» 8. International Orchid Show Market. For those wishing to bring home a stunning souvenir from the show, vendors offer blooming orchid plants, growing supplies, and winsome orchid-inspired art for.

» 9. Orchid Doctor & Classes. Enjoy educational demonstrations during the show in order to learn about best practices for growing healthy orchids. If you have an orchid that needs some TLC, visit the on site “Orchid Doctor,” expert and international consultant, Bruce Kidd, to diagnosis and prescribe an orchid fix.

» 10. Award-Winning Flowers from Around the World. The show brings orchid entrants from orchid specialist reaching as far as South America, Europe and Japan. See blooms from the best and most beautiful from around the globe! Best part! You can bring them home from the Market without having to go through customs.

Tickets to the event are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors (age 65 or older) and students (with ID), and free for children age 12 or younger. Three-day passes are available for $20 for general admission and $17 for seniors and students. Tickets are also available before the show at all Ticketmaster locations and on the Ticketmaster website.

Click here for more information about the show.

— Leigh-Anne Anderson is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show.


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