ACS National Convention

ACS National Convention

ACS National Convention

April 5-8, 2017 Newberg, Oregon

The Oregon Camellia Society has planned an interesting, fun and educational convention that ACS members are sure to enjoy! Register soon!

The Oregon Camellia Society Welcomes the American Camellia Society to Beautiful Newberg, Oregon

by Martha Ragland, Oregon State Director

Click here to download and print or share full article.

Newberg, Oregon, located about 25 miles southwest of Portland in the northern Willamette Valley, is surrounded by rolling hills and lush valleys. Because the area is ideal for grape growing, Newberg has become the gateway to Yamhill County wine country. Newberg’s camellia heritage runs even deeper—the camellia was designated as the official flower in 1949, serving as symbol for the city.

The idea of staging a spring camellia festival was a dream for decades. The Newberg Camellia Festival was launched in 2009, combining the celebration of camellias and the culture of the lands where the flower originates: China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. The Oregon Camellia Society, founded over 75 years ago, has hosted their annual spring cooperative camellia show in conjunction with the Festival since the inception. More than 4,000 attended the Festival in 2016.

Our presence in Newberg—with its small town friendliness, its rapidly growing supply of fine restaurants, its excellent wine offerings, and beautiful scenery—is only one reason we are pleased to host the American Camellia Society Annual Convention April 5-8, 2017. More than ten years have passed since the ACS held its annual meeting in the Northwest. From the lovely ornamental plantings in Portland’s Chinese and Japanese gardens to heirloom varieties gracing the yards of Newberg’s residential neighborhoods, even in early April the area should have an abundance of camellias on display. Knowing how much ACS members love camellias, we’ve pondered ways to put our best foot forward when you arrive. Each day, we will offer the chance to enjoy camellias in entirely different settings, hoping your experience will be as rich—and just plain fun—as possible.

Chehalem Valley Tour
Those not attending the Wednesday business meetings will be treated to a sightseeing excursion, starting with a visit to a scenic three-acre hillside garden, planted with a number of camellias belonging to OCS members Kathy and Roger Lintault. We will enjoy lunch in the lively 3rd Street Historic District of downtown McMinnville (abundantly supplied with charming shops and restaurants). In the afternoon, we will travel to the Cecil and Molly Smith Garden, which is renowned for its collection of species and hybrid rhododendrons in a natural woodland setting. The garden also features three or four very large williamsii hybrid camellias.

Portland, Oregon, Gardens
A day-long tour takes in Portland’s most beautiful public gardens, starting with the Portland Japanese Garden, which has been described as one of the finest of its type in the country. We’ll arrive when the garden opens, before the crowds come, and break into smaller groups so our garden guides can focus on the garden’s unique horticultural features. Portland is known for its cuisine and its beer, and northwest Portland offers many restaurants to choose from when it comes to lunching on your own. The afternoon will find us at the Lan Su Chinese Garden, where artisans from Suzhou, China, helped design and construct the walkways, ponds, bridges and pavilions set amid elegant landscapes of fantastic rock groupings, delicate trees, and lattice screens. Before the day is over, we’ll stop for tea at Cornell Farm, a commercial nursery that grew from a 1980s roadside stand to one of the most inspiring garden centers in the country.

Chehalem Glenn Golf Course & Wine Country
The general membership meeting and a catered lunch will be held at the golf course, followed by a brief walking tour of the public camellia plantings on site. Afterwards, we’ll wind through the rolling hills to taste handcrafted wines at two excellent wineries.

Camellia Show & Newberg Camellia Festival
All day long on Saturday, the Chehalem Cultural Center will host the Newberg Camellia Festival. The Center, which came into being thanks to the generosity of a local patron (who gave in memory of her mother), added a grand forecourt in 2014 and in 2015 connected a fully restored ballroom to an enclosed garden via a stunning glass wall. Events are scheduled all day long on indoor and outdoor stages, including Asian art, performances, and gardening presentations—everything from the Dragon Dancers to Shakuhachi bamboo flutes. The Forecourt Tent features bonsai and origami demonstrations, and hands-on art-activities for kids. Trolley tours will give visitors a look at Newberg’s favorite historic sites. Vendors will offer crafts and jewelry connected to Pan-Asian culture. The festival is also host to the Oregon Camellia Society’s camellia show, highlighting the official Newberg flower and its Asian origins. Plant sales will run throughout the festival.

Early Saturday morning, while some are entering blooms into the spring camellia show, others may want to stretch their legs in a festive 5k/10k Camellia Walk/Run that sets out from the Chehalem Cultural Center at 8 a.m. Festival organizers will waive the entry fee for ACS members, so please indicate your interest on the registration form. Each participant receives a free t-shirt and one-gallon camellia plant at the finish line.

Travel Details and Recommendations

Convention attendees should plan to fly into the Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon and rent a car or car pool with a friend. Newberg is 34 miles from the airport, an approximately 75 minute drive. A tour bus will be provided for some events, but guests will need transportation to various convention sites.

The Best Western Newberg Inn will be the “headquarters” motel for the convention. The hotel offers a free breakfast and has been recently renovated, but it is several decades old and is a bit quirky in that it has no elevator. Guests can ask for help with their luggage at the front desk. The hotel breakfast room will be the “hospitality room.” All ACS meetings will be at the Chehalem Cultural Center (Wednesday) and the Chehalem Glenn Golf Course (Friday morning).

The Best Western Newberg Inn
(503) 537-3000
2211 Portland Road
Newberg, OR 97132-1364
  • Single King: $79.99
  • Double Queen: $89.99
  • Mini-Suites: $109.99
  • (3 first floor rooms are ADA compliant)
  • If ACS block is sold out, ask for “Andrea” (Manager)
Other options include:

Click here to download and print a copy of the schedule and registration form.



Use the following links to learn more about Newberg, the famous Camellia Festival, the Portland Gardens, and Chehalelm Valley wine.

City of Newberg Official Flower: The Camellia

History of Camellias in Newberg
March 31, 1949: “New Civic Group” urges the adoption of the Camellia as Newberg’s official city flower. The group writes a letter to the City Council asking for an ordinance to be adopted.
April 4, 1949: “Ordinance No. 1055” is adopted by the Newberg City Council. The vote is 8 to 0 in favor of adopting the Camellia as the official city flower.
April 21, 22 , and 23, 1949: Designated as “Camellia Planting Days” by Newberg Men’s Garden Club. Intended to plant hundreds of Camellias throughout the city.
April 23, 1949: First annual flower show is held. In conjunction with the show over 400 Camellia plants were sold.
June 12, 1997: Mayor Donna Proctor unveils our official city “Camellia Flag”.
March 16, 2009: Newberg City Council adopts a proclamation declaring April 4th, 2009 as “Camellia Day” celebrating the 60th Anniversary of adopting the Camellia as the official city flower.
April 4, 2009: The City of Newberg, in cooperation with the Oregon Camellia Society, hosts “Camellia Day”.
April 10, 2010: City of Newberg hosts the Oregon Camellia Society’s 69th Annual Show in conjunction with its 2nd Annual Camellia Festival. Venue is at the newly established Chehalem Cultural Center in downtown Newberg.
2010: Newberg Camellia Trail Map & Brochure

News featureon the 2014 Camellia Festival from The Oregonian  Includes history of selection of camellia as official City Flower.

Newberg Camellia Festival Facebook Page   Excellent photograph and videos of performances and festival highlights.

Camellia Festival Page on Chehalem Cultural Center site.

2016 Newberg Camellia Festival and Camellia Show from The Oregonian.  Beautiful photographs.

Garden Time Television feature on the Newberg Camellia Festival and Oregon Camellia Society Show, featuring an interview with Collier Brown.

Tour, Shop, Dine

Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information.  Click on Plan Your Visit and scroll down for visitor recommendations, dining guides, shopping guides and taxi information.

Downtown Newberg: Shops, Restaurants & Cultural Center  (Click on Palate for maps of shopping, wine tasting, ATMs, and Restaurants.

Newberg Restaurant Reviews from Trip Advisor.

City of Newberg Camellia Trail Map & Brochure lists each plant's name, color, bloom season and physical address.


Wine: Touring and Tasting

Downtown Newberg Wineries

Downtown Newberg Tasting Rooms

Chehalem Wines

Domaine Drouhin

Erath Winery