County Fair’s Flower, Garden Shows seek entries

The San Diego County Fair’s famous Flower Show, one of coastal North County’s largest exhibition of award-winning floral specimens and displays, is now accepting entries, according to a Del Mar Fairgrounds press release.

So is the adjoining Garden Show.

The Paul Ecke Jr. Flower Show competitive exhibit at the 2017 San Diego County Fair, which begins its month-long run on Friday, June 2, has separate divisions for beginners, novices, amateurs and professionals. Entry materials for flower lovers and growers can now be found online at

There are competition divisions for everyone who loves flowers, floral design, interior design and floriculture. The entry deadline is May 12, and fees range from $10 to $25 per entry. The floral vignette set-up period is May 15-30. Fresh cut bloom entries are included in this deadline even though they are not brought in until the fair starts.

The Paul Ecke Jr. Flower Show exhibit is transformed during the fair with hundreds of displays of floral vignettes, table design, floral art interpretation, wedding flowers and more. Competitions featuring fresh cut blooms take place every two to three days during the fair, showcasing more than 5,000 locally grown flowers from June 2 through July 4.

All Flower Show entries are judged by industry professionals and awarded Olympic style. They will be displayed at the San Diego County Fair and all exhibitors are invited to a private awards ceremony at the Fair on Saturday, July 3, where they can meet fellow exhibitors and celebrate having their work on display.

Additionally, the Flower Show hosts the eighth Annual San Diego Floral Design Competition. This year’s theme is “Westward Ho,” playing on this year’s fair theme “Where the West is Fun.” The registration deadline for this event is May 26. The processing fee of $50 includes your admission to the fair on June 18, and includes a mystery bucket of supplies to create your surprise package portion of the contest design. The winner of this contest goes to the Top 10 Floral Competition for the state of California.

Registration for the Paul Ecke Jr. Garden Show competitive exhibit at the 2017 San Diego County Fair is available online only, at, with an entry deadline of May 5. Fees range from $10 to $300 per entry.

The Garden Show, presented by Think Blue, is the most popular exhibit at the Fair which last year welcomed more than 1.6 million guests in 26 days. This exhibit is open to all California residents including amateurs, non-profit organizations, businesses, associations and garden clubs in the horticultural, agricultural or floricultural industry. Youth categories are open to youth 9-19 years of age within 4H, FFA, other youth groups, and individual students.

This year’s Garden Show theme, “Happy Trails,” encourages participants to incorporate a fun, western element to their displays. Several theme awards are offered in this area.

Entries are judged using the American Style of judging, unless otherwise stated. All judging is done in a closed, blind judging session. Entries are displayed for the 26 days of the San Diego County Fair and award-winning exhibitors are invited to a private awards ceremony at the Fair.

The 2017 Fair will feature a Wild West saloon, numerous Western-themed educational and historic exhibits and country music. The fair opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 2 and runs through Tuesday, July 4; it is closed the first four Mondays and the first three Tuesdays. The San Diego County Fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County and one of the top 10 fairs in the United States and Canada, drawing more than 1.6 million visitors annually. For more information visit


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