Botanica Opens Illuminations With Help of Volunteers
Botanica’s 2016 Illuminations holiday light show has officially begun. Operating for more than two decades, the event has become a Wichita tradition, drawing more and more guests each year. This year, attendance is expected to exceed 75,000.
“Botanica is pleased to support the community and share the excitement of the season,” Botanica’s Director of Marketing and Communication Craig Davis said.
Illuminations is a walk-through Christmas light display held in the gardens at Botanica each December. Botanica’s largest fundraiser, Illuminations helps to maintain exhibits, programs and activities.
According to Davis, the months-long set-up process requires careful planning.
“We began actually installing lights in summer and continue up to Thanksgiving. It’s quite a science. In fact, we cannot install luminaries through the gardens until all our 60,000 tulips bulbs are planted in early November,” he said.
In addition, hundreds of volunteers are needed to make the event possible each year. Volunteers for the event serve in a variety of roles, planning, installing lights, and assisting the public as they view the display by greeting and selling tickets. Others volunteer from home by baking cookies for the event’s attendees to enjoy.
Each year, Botanica adds something new or different to the display. This year, the event highlights a designated candy cane lane, an underwater scene, a wildflower garden and more in addition to the traditional light show in the main meadow. This years show will also debut a redesigned Children’s Garden Meadow and new structures including Santa’s workshop, soldiers, a decorative train and more.
Guests will have the opportunity to experience Santa every night, enjoy snacks at various stations throughout the gardens, and have dinner in Botanica’s new outdoor pavilion.
Illuminations will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every evening through Dec. 31 with the exclusion of Dec. 24 and 25. Tickets are currently on sale online, in person at Botanica, or by phone at (316) 264-0448.
Give Back With Reddi Industries Toy Drive
If you’re looking for another way to give back, you can also score a free pair of tickets by donating to the Reddi Industries toy drive for the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County (CACSC). The CACSC deals with childhood abuse, neglect and human trafficking right here in Wichita. Donation drop-off locations are 8017 E. Douglas Ave., 400 S. Commerce Street, and 3901 N. Broadway. Donations can also be made online.