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NORCAL Sun ‘N Fun Weekend to expand grower tours, education sessions

Expanded grower tours and education sessions, a golf tournament on a championship course, distinguished service awards, a floral fashion show and the world’s largest display of California flowers and greenery under one roof are highlights of the biennial Fun ‘N Sun Weekend sponsored by NORCAL, the California association of flower growers and shippers.

This year’s show runs July 17-20 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort only 30 steps from the beach in Santa Barbara, CA, and is billed by NORCAL as bigger and better. Registration opened April 19. The 2011 show in Carlsbad, CA, drew about 300 people and marked the association’s 70th anniversary. The show had been postponed from 2010 due to the recession. The 2008 show was attended by 250.

The grower tours will visit seven companies: Sun Valley’s farm in Oxnard, CA; Ever-Bloom Inc., Westerlay Orchids and Myriad Flowers in Carpinteria, CA, on July 17; and Holland-America Flowers in Arroyo Grande, CA; and Skyline Flower Growers & Shippers and Ocean View Flowers in Nipomo, CA, on July 18. The golf tournament will be held July 17 at the Sandpiper Golf Course on the Pacific Ocean, ranked among the top 25 public courses in the nation.

Education sessions begin with the reception dinner July 17 and are slated to cover brand marketing, a new sustainability certification program proposed by the California Cut Flower Commission, the trend toward locally grown produce and flowers, consumer research, and seminars on family businesses and credit applications.

The Distinguished Service Award Breakfast will honor Mellano & Co., which began in California in the 1920s and is operated by the third generation of the Mellano family. In 2011, honorees were Lane DeVries, president and chief executive officer of Sun Valley Floral Group in Arcata, CA, and Jose Ortiz Sr., president of Joseph & Son in Santa Paula, CA.

The floral fashion show, described by sponsors as “an outrageous wearable floral art fashion showdown,” will feature designers from the California State Floral Association creating bouquets and corsages while models wearing them stroll through the crowd posing for photos.

One of the highlights of the show is the Flower Fair, with exhibits by California flower growers, transportation carriers and other suppliers. A preview reception will unveil the Flower Fair on July 18, and the exhibits will be on hand July 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., including a buffet lunch.

Decorating the grounds and public areas of the hotel will be seven designers holding credentials from the American Institute of Floral Design: Mr. Vasquez, the team leader; Carol Caggiano; Michael Quesada; Lynne Moss; Lori Novak; Eddie Payne; and Tom Simmons.