There’s only one place to see a kaleidoscope of colors in bloom and learn more about growing elusive orchids from local experts—the 43rd annual Gulf Coast Orchid Society Show & Sale in Gautier.
This showy collection of jewel-toned blossoms with hints of delicate perfumes is set for Feb. 3 through Feb. 5 at the Gautier Convention Center at 2012 Library Lane, Gautier, Miss.
The event promises spectacular exhibits presented by commercial dealers and orchid societies from both Mississippi and across the country.
Plant sales and exhibit viewing are from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. From noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
This prismatic rainbow of dazzling motley blooms is free and you’ll even have a chance to pick your favorite and learn more about it from on-site orchid specialists.
There will also be free mini-classes for those wishing to begin or advance their orchid knowledge and education.
Learn about orchids in the first class, “A Novel Way to Plant Orchids” set for 3:30 p.m. Friday. Stick around for “Orchid Flowers for Personal Adornment” at 4 pm, and “How to Pot and Orchid Plug” at 4:30 p.m.
On Sunday you can dig your hands into “Things to Know to Grow Paphs” at 1 p.m. followed by “Orphaned Orchids and How to Care for Them” at 1:30 p.m. and “Tea Bags. Good or Bad? How to Make Them” at 2 p.m.
These classes have metric tons to offer first-time or advanced orchid growers.
Many orchids feature fragrances to attract pollinators, so visitors can also expect the intoxicating aromas of chocolate, citrus, and other sweet or spicy scents.
And if you are merely an enchanting bloom enthusiast, why not try your hand at winning a tantalizing specimen?
Raffle tickets are $1 each and participants simply drop tickets in a raffle bin near the orchid of their choice. There will be a dozen or so stunning orchids in the raffle and there’s no limit as to how many tickets you can put in each raffle bin. Winning tickets will be drawn on Sunday afternoon.
This year’s orchid vendors include Florida Star Nurseries of Marianna, Florida; Spring Orchids of Spring, Texas; Sheila’s Orchids & Exotics of Marrero, Louisiana; So Orchids, Lakeland, Florida; and Hicks Orchids and Supplies of Orlando, Florida.
The Gulf Coast Orchid Society was founded in 1980 by a group of Orchid lovers who grew tired of traveling to Hattiesburg monthly to learn about orchids. The first show was held in 1981 at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi. The group has about 60 members on record with a monthly attendance of around 30 members. All members can take part in a December-covered dish luncheon and orchid bingo.
Visit the Gulf Coast Orchid Society’s Facebook page for additional information about the event and how to join the group.