Top 8 Things to See and Do

 at the 71st Annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show, “The Wild World of Orchids”

SANTA BARBARA, CA  — On March 4 – 6, 2016, Santa Barbara International Orchid Show ( returns to Earl Warren Showgrounds in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. Thousands of blooms in every imaginable shape, color, pattern and texture, will be showcased at the show, one of the country’s largest and oldest celebrations of orchids.

The 71st annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show’s theme, “Wild World of Orchids,” pays homage to a family of flowering plants that boasts 25,000 species, among which beauty is ubiquitous and uniqueness is commonplace.

The three-day Orchid Show highlights bold and beautiful horticultural innovations and feats of evolution represented by more than 50 orchid exhibitors and vendors from around the world. A highlight of this year’s event is the vanilla orchid, which will add taste to the list of senses stimulated by the diverse array of plants.

1) The Grand Orchid Exhibits. Enter the exhibit hall and be greeted by the world’s most beautiful, rare and exotic orchids.    The event showcases vibrant displays of local, national and international award-winning orchid growers and societies from around world. This year’s theme “Wild World of Orchids” will take festivalgoers on an adventure they’ll never forget.

2) The Fragrance. The aroma of the show is diverse, floral and romantic.  Many species of orchids attract their pollinators, such as bees, moths and hummingbirds by their smell.

3) Attend the Cymbidium Conference. The 41st Annual Cymbidium Society of America Congress takes place on Saturday, March 5th, 2016 and offers an opportunity for attendees to take the next level of expertise at the congress and listen to world-class experts and speakers such as Dr. Randall Robinson, Scott Barrie, Dave Sorokowsky, Dr. Robert-Jan Quene PHD, Dr. Yu Zhang and Mohan Pradhan.

4) Tantalize Your Taste buds with the Vanilla Orchid.  At this year’s SB Intl. Orchid Show the mysterious Vanilla Orchid, the source of the most popular flavor in the world, will be highlighted and add taste to the list of senses stimulated by the diverse array of plants.  The Show has teamed up with award-winning local chocolatiers, Chocolats Du Calibressan to create a special Tahitian Vanilla chocolate to commemorate the 71st year which will be available to indulge on during the 3-day festival.

5) Premier Orchid Show in California.  Since it’s beginning in 1945 as a small gathering of orchid enthusiasts at the Montecito Hall, the show has grown to one of the largest and most prestigious in the world. It is the oldest, continuously running, show in the United States.  At its 71st anniversary event in 2016, visitors can expect to be wowed by lavish displays and stunning floral arrangements.

6) International Orchid Show Market. After admiring the orchids in the Exhibit hall, visitors can take a short walk over to the Sales Area where they will find many of the same orchids for sale. There they will find many of the finest Domestic growers as well as vendors from Tokyo, Ecuador, Brazil, Thailand, Columbia and Hawaii selling their plants. Vendors will be offering everything from beginner windowsill orchids to rare, unusual, and awarded species and hybrids. Visitors will also find all the supplies they need for their orchid repotting and care needs.

7) Orchid Doctor, Potting Demonstrations, and Master Gardener Classes. Enjoy educational demonstrations from master gardeners and orchid experts 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.

8) Visit the Local Nurseries.  In conjunction with the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show all local nurseries in the Santa Barbara area will be having Open Houses throughout the weekend giving visitors the opportunity to visit their greenhouses and purchase orchids directly from the growers.

WHAT: 71st Annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show

WHERE: Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

WHEN: March 4th, 5th, 6th 2016; 9am to 5pm.


Individual Tickets

  • General: $14
  • Seniors (age 65 and older) and Students (with ID): $12
  • Children 12 and under (with adult): FREE

Tickets are also available before the show at all Ticketmaster locations and on the Ticketmaster website.