Local Blooms Attract International Attention
Planning for the national meeting of the American Camellia Society (ACS) and its national camellia show has been top priority for the Pensacola Camellia Club (PCC) for the past year. Several hundred visitors are expected, including some international experts such as Ms. Patricia Short, the president of the International Camellia Society, who will come from London.
The ACS meeting will begin on Wednesday, December 11 and end on Saturday December 14 with the National Camellia Show at First Baptist Church in downtown Pensacola and a banquet at Hilton Hotel on Pensacola Beach. The camellia show and plant sale at First Baptist Church is free and public is cordially invited. It is expected that there will about 2,000 gorgeous camellia blooms competing for prizes. The show is open to novices as well as experienced camellia growers. Since many of the out of town attendees are camellia enthusiasts, they are expected to bring choice blooms for the competition, so this will truly be a national exhibit.
Paul Bruno, PCC president said, “Having the national meeting of ACS and the national camellia show for Pensacola is a great opportunity to show our visitors our outstanding attractions. Pensacola is our nation’s oldest city, and Pensacola Camellia Club is the nation’s oldest club, established in 1937, pre-dating the ACS by eight years; and we are, arguably, the largest camellia club with over 200 members.
Not bad for a town of our size!”
Bruno continued, “On Wednesday, December 11, visitors will be offered tours of the National Museum of Naval Aviation, historic Fort Barrancas and historic downtown Pensacola. On Thursday an all-day bus tour will include a visit to the UWF’s Camellia Garden and Japan House for tea ceremony; (camellia enthusiasts know that the tea plant is also a camellia species), nurseryman John Davy’s home and camellia garden in Pace for a luncheon and a tour of Panhandle Growers Nursery; and finally, Veterans’ Park and Viet Nam Memorial Replica—The Wall. Friday will include instructional and committee meetings with optional free time for self-guided tours of Fort Pickens and historic downtown Pensacola presented by GoRetro Tours of Pensacola. Saturday’s camellia show will be the highlight of the weekend and open, free to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. Banquets will be held on Pensacola Beach at Hampton Inn on Friday evening and at Hilton Hotel on Saturday evening.”
Roger Vinson, Past President of ACS, said, “At the national level, ACS is excited about having its national meeting and show here and we want to give our visitors opportunity to see this wonderful city. My thanks go out to the club members and other citizens who are working hard to present the best possible experience for our attendees.”