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.