Shows & Special Events 2024
April 13: 83rd Annual Oregon Camellia Society Show and Plant Sale, Chehalem Cultural Center, 415 E. Sheridan St., Newberg, Oregon. Plant Sale: 8:30 a.m.—4:00 p.m., Camellia Show : 10:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m. Make this a fantastic display by bringing your beautiful blooms to the show from 8:00—11:00 am on April 13. Entering blooms is open to all, but blooms must be entered before the judging begins at 11:00 am. The show is open for viewing from 10:00 am—4:00 pm. For those new to entering camellias, experienced OCS members will be available to assist you. Also, if you are eager to add some hard-to-find camellias to your collection, stop by the OCS Plant Sale, beginning at 8:30 am—a bonus for any of us looking for that special camellia. Newberg Camellia Festival will not take place this year due to the remodeling of the Chehalem Cultural Center.
The Oregon Camellia Society Show celebrates Newberg's city flower and showcases the beauty of camellia blooms. You will ooh and aah, exclaiming each flower is more beautiful than the next.
How did the camellia captivate Newberg residents? It took one man, Russell Gainer, to start the ball rolling when he became "infected with camelliaitis" after his marriage in 1938. The red camellia, 'Cheerful,' at a neighbor's house caught his eye, leading him to add one camellia after another, first to his own yard, then to an adjacent lot and a large greenhouse—190 camellias in all!
Mr. Gainer, a member of Oregon Camellia Society and American Camellia Society, was also a part of Newberg Men's Garden Club. By 1949, the camellia was in its heyday, and the Garden Club adopted the camellia as the city's official flower. On April 23 of that year, "a new type of show"—an official camellia show took place for the first time. But the annual camellia show didn't gain a foothold, and years passed.
In 1997, Mayor Donna Proctor unveiled an official "Camellia Flag" for the city. Then, in 2009, sixty years after Russell Gainer and his Garden Club inaugurated that Newberg camellia show, new plans sprang to life. Denis Dooley, then President of OCS, and Bryan Stewart, Head Groundskeeper for the City of Newberg at the time, worked together with many in Newberg to enthusiastically promote the city's camellia heritage through the Newberg Camellia Festival. Sadly, due to the remodeling of the Chehalem Cultural Center, the Festival will not be held in 2024. Only the Oregon Camellia Society Show will take place.