Free Admission for Bok Tower Gardens’ 80th Anniversary Celebration
Lake Wales - Bok Tower Gardens will commemorate its 80th anniversary with free admission on January 31. The National Historic Landmark was dedicated in 1929 as a gift to America from Pulitzer Prize-winning author, humanitarian and world peace advocate Edward Bok. “Sharing the Gift” is the theme of the celebration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“What began as a few acres of gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. has grown to nearly 700 acres of conservation lands and gardens preserving Florida’s rarest plants and wildlife,” explains David Price, Gardens’ president. “We’re honored to have special dignitaries including Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University, who will speak on his grandfather’s dream of world peace in a ceremony that begins at 11 a.m.”
One of the Gardens’ most popular special events, “Crossing the Moat,” will give visitors a rare opportunity to walk across the moat that surrounds the Singing Tower for a closer look at the Great Brass Door. Designed by renowned master metal worker Samuel Yellin, the Tower’s imposing door weighs approximately 1,100 pounds and features 32 brass panels depicting the Biblical story of creation.
In addition to Singing Tower carillon concerts at 1 and 3 p.m., Japanese drummers will perform at 10:30 a.m. Other activities include free tours of Pinewood Estate, the greenhouse and nursery; a family tree planting event and historical exhibits; hot air balloon from Fantasy of Flight will be tethered near the greenhouse; volunteer Duane Hull will autograph copies of his plant identification guide, “Flowers, Plants & Trees of Bok Tower Gardens” and Jamey Christoph, who created the Gardens’ new logo, will sign prints and tee shirts of his Singing Tower artwork. Sarasota artist Jamie Kirkell will introduce his new exhibit “Orchids and Irises in the Garden” on display in the Visitor Center and demonstrate the art of painting on silk at 2:30 p.m.
Bok Tower Gardens is open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Visitor Center, Blue Palmetto Café and Tower & Garden Gift Shop are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 863-676-1408 or visit www.boktowergardens.org for more information.
About Bok Tower Gardens:
Bok Tower Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, is located 55 miles southwest of Orlando and 60 miles east of Tampa near Lake Wales, Florida, and is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., last admission at 5 p.m. The Visitor Center, Café and Gift Shop are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free. For more information contact Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales FL 33853; 863-676-1408 or visit www.boktowergardens.org
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