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Fun ‘N Sun in August — perennial favorite still blooming through after 75 years

The California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers will celebrate 75 years of operations at its signature Fun ‘N Sun event in Carlsbad, CA, Aug. 9-12, 2017. This year’s event will be a blend of the traditional — recognizing those who have contributed to the floral industry — with an eye toward the future.

CalFlowers was formed in 1941 — then known as NORCAL — and was initially developed to aid floral shippers in the San Francisco Bay area to move their products. As the California floral industry began to grow, it became clear that a strong trade association was needed to unite and strengthen the industry. Today, CalFlowers is stronger than ever, with nearly 200 voting members in-state and twice that number of associate members from all segments of the floral industry in 47 other states across the country.

MICHAEL-LOBUEMichael LoBueFun ‘N Sun 2017 will feature many of the favorite programs and activities from previous years. There will be a golf tournament at the Aviara Golf Club — a championship Arnold Palmer 18-hole course. We’ll tour three of San Diego’s most prominent flower farms — Dramm & Echter Inc., Kendall Farms and Mellano & Co. Education programming will feature “Flower and Foliage Trends” by J Schwanke from uBloom; “Future Flower Initiatives” by Brad Denham from Arizona Family Florist; “Reducing Utility Consumption” by Ted Kohlenberger from National Resource Management Inc.; and “Future Flower Crops of California” by Joaquin De la Torre and Lourdes Reyes from Ball Seed Cut Flowers. Following the education sessions on Friday morning, the popular Flower Fair, with a wide sampling of the many varieties of California-grown cut flowers, will be featured.

Two dinner parties also are planned. One evening will feature award-winning floral designs expressing CalFlowers’ aspirational theme, “more Americans enjoying more flowers more often,” where we’ll display finalists’ submitted plans from a member marketing contest featuring new ideas to encourage more Americans to bring flowers into their lives. The second evening will celebrate and pay tribute to the many past members who’ve contributed so much to the success of the California and U.S. floral industry. Lead floral designer for the event Derrick Vasquez and his award-winning team have accepted the challenge to make both of these evenings very memorable.

Closing this year’s Fun ‘N Sun on Aug. 12 will be the report of the CalFlowers-commissioned study about the impact of the legalization of cannabis on the California floral industry. Following that report will be an engaging panel discussion involving a grower, wholesaler and shipper about the implications of this new legalized crop. Is cannabis friend or foe of the California floral industry? Be present to find out.

For more information on the Fun‘N Sun 2017 event, or to learn more about CalFlowers and its 75-year old organization, visit www.CAFGS.org.

Michael LoBue is chief executive officer of CalFlowers in Capitola, CA. He can be contacted at lobue@cafgs.org.