As you enter the Earl Warren Showgrounds, the smells and sights of beautiful orchids take your breath away.
This weekend, the 75th annual International Orchid Show is taking place once again in Santa Barbara at the showgrounds.
“It truly is something everyone should experience!” exclaimed local resident Margaret O’Callaghan.
Since 1945, the orchid show has captivated audiences from around the globe. Santa Barbara has a unique climate that fosters the growth of these special flowers.
The area’s first orchid show showcased local hobbyists of the flowers at the Montecito Grange Hall. Since then, the show has expanded in popularity and has become a well-anticipated event for many residents in the community.
In 2020, days before the orchid show was supposed to begin, COVID-19 forced the show to close. Due to county restrictions, there were also no shows in 2021 and 2022. Due to this, fans of the show have been eagerly anticipating the return of the orchids this year.
The theme this year is “Orchids — The Adventure Returns” in honor of the reinstating of the show to the community.
The exhibits at the show, which continues today and Sunday, include orchid art, photography and floral arrangements, as well as a workshop and demonstration that teaches visitors how to properly take care of an orchid.
Everyone from commercial growers to the local enthusiasts are allowed to submit their orchids for display at the event. Many local floral businesses are also represented at the event, including Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, Westerlay Orchids, Ambriz Kingdom of Plants and many more.
“I have been going to the show since I was a little girl, and it is something that I have looked forward to every year,” Ms. O’Callaghan told the News-Press. “There is just so much to see and take in!”
The displays are grand in nature to show off the true beauty of the flower. This year, there are exhibits that span in size, from small, singular orchid presentations to large, awe-inspiring displays.
In addition to the many exhibits, the show hosts various contests for people to enter their orchids and displays. These awards range from best display to best scientifical art and everything in between. The top award is titled “Best Orchid in Show.”
And guests are allowed to purchase many of the orchids on display for their own homes. When you buy the desired orchid, you are taught how to re-pot and manage your new flower so you too can showcase its beauty.
The staff is helpful at the show and are ready to answer any floral question you may have.
In addition to the floral beauty, the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show is a great way to escape the rain this weekend. The entire show is indoors.