Holiday lights dazzle thousands at the Botanica Garden

WICHITA, Kansas – It’s opening night for the much anticipated Illuminations at Botanica Garden. Whether young or young at heart there is something for everyone.

“We love it its now become a yearly tradition for us we love bringing the family listening to the music especially the concert, and we just love everything about it,” said Becky Whaley.

Illumnations has evolved over the last 20 years. Originally starting out with just brown paper bags and candles lining the garden, it has transformed to showcasing over a million lights all within the last four years. It is considered the Botanica’s largest fundraiser ,drawing in between 30-40,000 visitors a year and generating up to $100,000 to help run the place year round.

To keep things interesting, there are some new features sure to dazzle visitors.

“In the Shakespeare garden we’ve added to the Shakespeare fountain,” said Kathey Sweeney Director of Special Events.

Another new feature includes specially made luminary flowers designed and some welded by Sweeney.

“These are one of kind very unique with it being botanical and the botanical garden we thought this would be a nice addition.”

From Frozen lighting up to the popular tune “Let It Go” on a video board to an elephant and bicycle hanging in a funky tree; Illuminations has already proven to be a hit. It makes the three months to put it all together all worth it for staff and volunteers.

“It’s just really rewarding to see families coming and hugging and pointing and saying wow.”

Illuminations run now through December 31st at the Botanica Garden from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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