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The Syracuse Rose Society will open a national conference today at the Sheraton Hotel to rose enthusiasts from around the country. The society is hosting the National Miniature Rose Conference to coincide with its 100th anniversary. Planning and preparation to bring the event to Syracuse has been under way for some time, said conference co-chair Pat Pohl. In 2007 the society submitted a bid to host this year’s conference. A 20-person committee spent the last 18 months working out the details. The Syracuse Rose Society is one of the oldest such groups around and cares for the oldest municipal rose garden in the country. It was voted second most beautiful rose garden in America in 2010. However, it has been decades since the group last hosted a national event. The miniature rose conference is the newer and smaller of two national conferences held by the American Rose Society each year. “It gives an opportunity for smaller cities like Syracuse to host the event,” Pohl said. The group hosted a district rose conference at the Sheraton in Syracuse in 2009. Pohl said the society used it as a test to ensure the national event goes off flawlessly. Presentations by rose experts and the miniature rose competition will highlight the conference. The process of preparing roses for judging is somewhat arduous, Pohl said. Competitors bring their roses with them in buckets and then spend several hours readying them. From 4 a.m. until judging starts at 10 a.m., they are busy preparing and staging their roses. “They try to plan this so the roses will be at their perfection for judging,” Pohl said. After judging Saturday, Syracuse University head basketball coach Jim Boheim will help open the show to the public. The conference will close with a tour of the E.M. Mills Rose Garden and a 100th-anniversary luncheon on Sunday. Pohl said she and the other members of the rose society plan to relax and enjoy the conference. “It’s quite an undertaking for us,” Pohl said. “It gets pretty intense, but it’s fun too.”

If you go:

The National Miniature Rose Conference will be to the public 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the ballroom of the University Sheraton Hotel in Syracuse.. Jim Boheim will open the show with a ribbon cutting. Registration is required for other events.

Contact Ken Sturtz at [email protected] or 470-2259.

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