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Richmond Draws Crowds with Garden of Lights

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

For most gardeners, this is a quiet time of year, but for one Virginia garden, this is the busy season.  Sandy Hausman reports on why about 60,000 people from around the state will be showing up there over the next few weeks.

On a cold autumn night, you wouldn’t expect crowds to gather in a garden, but executive director Shane Tippett says that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond.

“We have a holiday light show that runs until Friday, the 11th of January, and every night except two,  the 24th and 25th od December, we’ll average 1,700 people a night.”

More than 200 staffers and volunteers spend months planning, then use half a million lights to create  a fantasy world around a theme:

“Titled H2Whoa, and it’s our goal to help explain the relationship of plants, water and us, so we’ll have a rainbow walkway.  We’ll have clouds and rainstorms of light.”

This year’s display will feature more than 1,300 flowers, fish and other aquatic life made from recycled bottles, along with more traditional scenes , like a model train chugging through a snowy landscape, and the garden plans a series of family-friendly activities. 

“We have craft nights, music nights.  There is dining here.  We’ll have coffee and the making of smores down in the children’s garden, and when weather permits, we’ll have a fire pit going.”

Admission is $12 for adults – less for seniors, small children and garden members. 

Credit Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden