BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
From all accounts, the 2024 Beeland Park Camellia Show, held on Jan. 27-28, was a bloomin’ success even though recent freezing temperatures had damaged many soon to be camellia blooms.
Jan Newton, Greenville Camellia Society (GCS) president, said she was amazed at the entries and number of attendees.
She indicated they were over 600 bloom entries and probably at least 1,000 visitors. She noted that even the judges were amazed at the number of local entries.
Visitors came from nearby communities, counties, states and from as far away as California and Alaska.
The Show, presented by the GCS and the City of Greenville, was in planning for many months and was the culmination of many local camellia enthusiasts hard work to have Beeland Park placed on the American Camellia Society (ACS) Trail.
The Camellia Show kicked off with a Judge’s Reception Friday, Jan. 6, at Cambrian Ridge where Greenville Mayor Dexter gave opening remarks and welcome to honored guests.
The following morning at 7 a.m., despite rain and cold temps, competitors from near and far began entering their chosen blooms.
Clerks were in place to register, attend the bloom prep station, and then place the camellia trays in their corresponding categories.
Downstairs 200 camellias, from 40 varieties, were being sold. By closing of the show Saturday, all the plants for sale had new owners.
Judging began at 10:30 a.m. and lasted till 1 p.m. when the public was invited to view the many entries and prize winning blooms.
A waxing prep area was also set up for demonstration of how to wax camellia blooms. The process can keep colors fresh for one to three weeks.
Two local citizens faired rather well at the show bring home 1st place blue ribbons and earning display in the ‘Court of Honor’ for their entries.
They included: Pat Skipper -Shirley Robinson Best Bloom Grown Unprotected in Butler County, and Debbie Blackmon – Best Local Bloom (not necessarily in Butler County).
Skipper’s entry was a Jarvis Red and Blackmon’s entry was a Professor Sargent.
Public viewing was again opened, the next day at 1 p.m. The Butler County Historical and Genealogical Society also held a 60th Anniversary Meeting with a short celebration while sharing history of Beeland Park.