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ARS National Miniature Conference & Rose Show

The Jacksonville Rose Society invites you to attend the 2018 American Rose Society Miniature Rose Conference and Show. It is our goal that you have a memorable rose experience. The host site is the newly remodeled Lexington Hotel and Conference Center on the St. Johns River in the heart of Jacksonville.

We have planned a relaxing and exciting weekend. Registration is conveniently located near the elevators and is open Friday, 2:00 to 8:00 PM and Saturday, 5:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. As a bonus, each registered family unit will receive a new rose hybridized by David Clemons. This miniflora is to be named ‘Aristides’, for the first winner of the Kentucky Derby. Several vendors will also have other varieties for you to take home as well as items for the garden.

The show and preparation areas are large and accommodating. Several Deep South District rose societies have shared their supplies and volunteered to help turn the hotel into a rose paradise. A cool room is available for Friday night storage of your roses.

Friday afternoon will feature an arrangement seminar/workshop (bring your clippers). A walk down the riverwalk or ride on the water taxi right outside the hotel will put the breeze in your hair or spring in your step.

from the Jan./Feb/ Issue of American Rose

The Friday buffet dinner will be a country western theme. Dress for the occasion; boots, jeans, cowboy hats, western shirts and a bolo tie! Kick up your heels. I’ll bet you didn’t know that Jacksonville is horse country – we have an equestrian center! Horse farms dot the interior of the state. Check out Ocala, just a couple hours southwest.

We have lined up three exciting speakers for our Saturday programs. Andrew Hearne will speak on roses and photography. Anyone who has seen his excellent published rose photographs will know the camera is his friend. Lunch break will be after this program and lunch is included in your registration. Following lunch is a program featuring David Clemons, the acknowledged premier small rose hybridizer in America today. Following this informative program, will be a program by ARS Vice President Bob Martin. Those who have heard Bob speak before know we will be in for something special. Check out the rose show and perhaps enjoy a dip in the hotel pool.

Saturday is, of course, the running of the Kentucky Derby. Prior to the Awards Banquet we will have a Kentucky Derby celebration with a broadcast of the derby and a “Pick the Winner” contest. Mint Julep anyone? Ladies bring your derby hats!!! After the banquet, celebrate into the night at the famous Deep South District hospitality room by the pool deck.

Sunday, plan on taking an exciting trip and tour of America’s oldest city, St Augustine. The bus leaves at 8:00 AM and will return around 3:30 PM. Old Town Trolley Tours will take you on a 20 stop narrated tour of the city. With your ticket you may get off and on anytime you desire. Visit the Castillo de San Marcos, the 17th Century Spanish fort, the oldest masonry fort in America. A guided tour of the fort is available. Other points of interest are the Old Jail, The Oldest Schoolhouse, Potters Wax Museum, Ripley’s, The Fountain of Youth, The St Augustine Pirate Museum (featuring items recovered by Mel Fisher from the wrecked Spanish Galleon, The Atocha), Flagler College and Lightener Museum. Stroll St George Street in the old city where the shops and fabulous restaurants beckon you to come in. The St Augustine Chamber of Commerce has provided a discount ticket and attraction booklet to all attendees.

While in Jacksonville you may want to visit the following attractions and venues. There are the Jacksonville and Atlantic beaches. It’s Florida!! You gotta’ go to the beach! Bring your golf clubs. It seems there is a course around every corner. The nearby Cummer Gallery and Gardens is a place you might like to visit. Admission is free with your ARS membership card. A short distance from the hotel are the shops of historic San Marco. Across the river is the Confederate Park and Rose Garden (garden is currently undergoing restoration).

Extend your Florida stay and make it a real vacation. Just a couple of hours south, is the Famous Daytona Beach, the World Golf Museum and Disney World. Don’t forget the Space Coast just two and half hours south. Silver Springs offers a beautiful look at natural Florida. There are caverns and springs a couple of hours west. An hour north are the Golden Isles of Georgia and Cumberland Island, a natural paradise where you need a reserved ferry ride ticket as the number of visitors is limited. There is so much to see and do that Jacksonville is the place many former military families, who have traveled the world, decide to call it home.

Whatever you choose, we hope you have a memorable experience attending the 2018 ARS Mini-National Convention and Show.

Convention and Show Co-Chairs

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