At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Bonsai Expo, Orchid Festival canceled

The Bonsai Expo is canceled, but the bonsai exhibits will return to display on World Bonsai Day May 8.  N.C. Arboretum photo The Bonsai Expo is canceled, but the bonsai exhibits will return to display on World Bonsai Day May 8. N.C. Arboretum photo

Two popular springtime events at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville won’t take place this year due to ongoing virus-related safety precautions. 

Both the Asheville Orchid Festival and the Carolina Bonsai Expo have been canceled for 2021. These signature shows draw national and international acclaim and have attracted thousands of people for more than two decades. However, due to the delicate plants’ need for temperate climates, the events are held indoors. This, combined with the large crowds expected and the fact that many attendees are in high-risk categories for COVID-19, prompted organizers to call it off. Both events were canceled last year as well in what would have been the Bonsai Expo’s 25th year and the Orchid Festival’s 22nd. 

Despite the cancellations, the Arboretum’s Bonsai Garden is open year-round, with the collection coming back out on display for the season on World Bonsai Day, the second Saturday in May, and the entire 434 acres of permanent garden exhibits at The North Carolina Arboretum continue to be open seven days a week.

Receive our FREE SMN Xtra newsletter

This Must Be the Place

Reading Room

  • Pick up a book and travel
    Pick up a book and travel If you are like me and have been more than somewhat stranded by the pandemic for the past year or more and are succumbing to cabin fever and the isolation blues and are looking  forward to getting out and about or even doing some traveling,…

Subscribe to Our Email Newsletters

  • Rumble: An empowering weekly newsletter created by women, for women
  • The SMN Xtra: Updates from the Smoky Mountain News throughout the week
Go to top