How the Event Got Started:
The Morongo Basin Orchid Festival was first held in October of 1996. Sponsored by the Landers Area Chamber of Commerce, Gubler Orchids, Hi Desert Star, and Z-107.7 Radio, the purpose of the festival was celebrate the orchid harvest and to attract out-of-town visitors. Proceeds from orchid sales were first used to finance productions at the Homestead Valley Park. Productions included a Concert from the Safaris, Polynesian Dances, and a fireworks show. The Homestead Park kept all the funds generated from the shows.
In 1999 the Sunset Rotary Club of Yucca Valley took over the management of the festival and decided to use the proceeds to benefit non-profit groups in the high and low deserts. In 2018, over $28,000.00 was distributed to non-profit desert organizations. In the past twenty three years, the Morongo Basin Orchid Festival raised and distributed over $320,000 to various charities and non-profits.
Rotary Bucks were later introduced in 2012. These are given upon purchases at the event to be donated to the attending non-profit of the purchaser's choice. These "bucks" were translated into dollars to each non-profit. Most recipients receive more than $400, but have earned as much as $2500.
Today, the Festival has grown in scope and diversity. Tours of the Gubler Orchid Greenhouses is still the cornerstone of the event. Orchid “How to” classes provided by the Arizona Orchid Society. The addition of the American Orchid Society Show, where orchids are offically judged and can become awarded Orchids. A big thank you to the Riverside San Bernardino Orchids Society for hosting this event. Wine and cheese tasting is proviced by the Yucca Valley Sunset Rotary. A new addition is from our friends at Joshua Tree Brewing Company. beer tasting. This Year JT Brewing is introducing a Shari Baby orchid beer!. Live music is on the center stage throughout the day. Entertainment, food, and beverages also play an important part in the making the festival a daytime destination for locals and tourists. The festival has become a showcase of participating non-profits organizations as festival goers can learn about all these wonderful agencies and the services that they provide in the community.
Gubler Orchids donates all the gross sales to Yucca Valley Sunset Rotary Club for distribution. This amount is added to the total of all the profits Yucca Valley Sunset Rotary generated during the two day event.
You will enjoy the event while supporting some wonderful non profit organizations. If you haven’t been to The Orchid Festival then you are in for a REAL treat!