How the International Horticultural Expo Could Make Its Way to the U.S.

expo 2029 landscape logoThe World’s Fair Bid Committee Educational Fund has submitted a bid to host the 2029 International Horticultural Expo in Minnesota.

International Horticultural Exhibitions are hosted throughout the world on a rotating schedule and focus on the economic, social, environmental, and cultural development objectives of a city or region on a fixed milestone. Hosting such an event is a unique opportunity to strengthen the international image and position of the host city, state, and country. Horticultural Exhibitions create parks and new, attractive public spaces of recreational value for citizens and tourists. They typically run three to six months in time and attract millions of world leaders, decision makers, and visitors over the duration of the event.

Initial conversations with green industry leaders have been extremely positive. Mark Ritchie, Board Chair, World’s Fair Bid Committee Educational Fund says, “Exploring the exciting possibilities with both our state and national horticultural and landscape organizations has been a turning point in our campaign to bring a World’s Fair to Minnesota. We’ve been laying the groundwork for this success over the past decade, and now we can harvest the fruits of this 12-year long campaign.”

When asked about the possibility of a U.S. event showcasing horticulture and the myriad benefits of plants and landscapes, Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort Executive Vice President, Advocacy, Research, & Industry Relations, says, “As the national trade association for horticulture in the U.S., AmericanHort profoundly understands how plants enrich people’s lives. Sharing this message on a global scale, right here in our own country, would be truly thrilling.”

“Locally, the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA) is excited to be part of the conversation around bringing an International Horticultural Expo to the U.S., and specifically our region. Engaging consumers about the health, economic, and environmental benefits of plants and landscapes is something our industry does every day. We’re excited to have the opportunity to potentially share the benefits of the green industry on a much larger stage,” says Cassie Larson, Executive Director of MNLA, the region’s oldest and largest green industry trade association.

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Green industry businesses are also supportive of the conversation. Ryan McEnaney, a fifth-generation family member at Bailey Nurseries based in St. Paul, MN, said, “We have some amazing stories to share with the world. From sustainability efforts to plant breeding and technological advancements, Minnesota is a hub of what’s to come for global horticulture. We are grateful to participate in the bid and Expo planning process and hope to welcome worldwide visitors to Minnesota in 2029.”

While conversations are still in the preliminary stages, official bids will be submitted in January 2024 and a host location selected in spring of 2024 by the International Association of Horticultural Producers. Craig Regelbrugge, Cassie Larson, or Ryan McEnaney with immediate questions, or sign up for email updates here.

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