WASHINGTON, May 27--The U.S. National Arboretum (USNA) has scheduled a special evening banquet and tour of its bonsai museum on May 29 as part of the 5th World Bonsai Convention being held in the nation's capital this weekend.
"The convention gives participants a rare opportunity to see many of the world's foremost bonsai and penjing masters demonstrate their expert techniques," said Thomas Elias, director of the arboretum. "We're honored to be co-sponsoring the event and to share our collections with bonsai lovers from around the world."
The arboretum is operated by the Agricultural Research Service, a U.S. Department of Agriculture scientific research agency. In conjunction with the convention, held every four years in a different country, the arboretum will showcase both its permanent bonsai display and several special exhibits.
The convention will feature demonstrations, workshops and informative lectures. Exhibits of outstanding bonsai and penjing specimens, viewing stones and pots will be featured throughout the convention, and vendors will display and sell bonsai-related items. The convention will be held at the Washington Hilton Hotel and is open to the public. People can register for the full convention or a single day. There is a fee of $10 to view the exhibits.
The event will be hosted by the North American Bonsai Federation and sponsored by the American Bonsai Society, Bonsai Clubs International, National Bonsai Foundation, Potomac Bonsai Association and the arboretum.
Opening ceremonies will feature a tribute to Saburo Kato and John Naka, founding fathers of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation. Founded in 1989, the federation was created to promote world peace and friendship through bonsai and its allied arts. Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Foley and current Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ryozo Kato are honorary co-chairs for the convention.
The arboretum is home to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, the largest and most comprehensive museum of its kind in the world that allows the general public to learn about and enjoy these interesting living art forms, free of charge. More information about the USNA, bonsai museum, including a virtual tour of museum, and the convention can be found at http://www.usna.usda.gov.