Five Annual Events Bring Fun and Funds to the Botanic Gardens

Linda Benedict  |  4/5/2017 8:49:46 PM

The Botanic Gardens and Burden Horticulture Society have developed several annual events to provide both education and fun as well as raise money for programs.

– The first event was Arbor Day at Burden in 2010. Hurricane Gustav inflicted major damage to the Burden Woods with the highest concentration of downed trees in the pedestrian trails, and the Arbor Day celebration allows visitors to plant trees to help restore the woodland.

– Brush with Burden, an annual juried exhibition for art of all media, photography and sculpture, was started in 2011 by the Burden Horticulture Society. The inspiration came from Steele Burden, who was a self-taught artist and sculptor. An opening reception, two-week exhibition and educational program are part of this popular and well respected exhibition.

– Gourmet in the Garden, started in 2012, includes dining and music among the blooms in the gardens. Award-winning, local chefs from top restaurants create tastings, and local mixologists create unique cocktails at the Steele Burden Memorial Orangerie, the gardens at the Orangerie, the Rose Garden and the Pavilion.

– The Garden Festival at Burden was started in 2012 to replace the traditional research station field day. Garden Fest highlights the vegetable and fruit research and trials at the Food and Fiber Research Facility, allowing both the public and local farmers to visit and learn from faculty and staff.

– The popular Corn Maze attracts thousands of families to find their way through the corn maze, climb the straw mountain, paint a pumpkin, test their skills launching balloons with a giant slingshot, take a hayride, visit the petting farm. Night Maze is the grand finale with costumes, live music and a bonfire.

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A boy glides down a zipline at the Corn/Hay Maze Festival at the Botanic Gardens on Oct. 1, 2016. Other activities at this annual event include a hay mountain climb, hayride and a giant slingshot. The event culminates on the final Saturday with a bonfire. Photo by Olivia McClure

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