Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Party at the Garden

Sawtooth Botanical Garden to host free festival Saturday

Express Staff Writer

The fall festival at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden will offer activities for people of all ages.
Courtesy photo

    What price education? The Sawtooth Botanical Garden thinks the things their instructors offer are too big to miss out on over money. So, they will present a sampler of what their programs look like at the Fall Festival, set for Saturday, Sept. 28, from 12-4 p.m. at the public garden south of Ketchum.
    The free festival will provide a day of music, children’s activities, classes, demos, food, drink and fun.  More than 30 vendors have committed to a booth at this year’s reinvented festival.
    Laura Drake, associate director for the garden, said that after years of fundraising and with a fully developed setting in place, the time is right to extend their offerings beyond just free admission.
    “Free education has always been one of our founding principles. We are now in a position to make it happen,” she said.
    The new model will require registration to ensure a spot.
    On Saturday,     Darcy Williamson will conduct an Herbal Tea Class at 1 p.m. Later, Tai Chi with Stella Stockton will take place at 3 p.m.
    The Hurdy Gurdy Girls will play music from noon-1 p.m., Good JuJu from 1-2 p.m., and Mark Mueller from 2-4 p.m.
    The Sun Valley Brewery will offer food and beer for sale, diVine Wine Bar will offer wine sampling, sales and food, and Toni’s Sun Valley Ice Cream will provide frozen treats. In addition, people can attend martial arts and archery demos, plant garlic in the planter bed, help with the cider press, get their face painted at the Sun Valley Ballet School’s booth or learn more from Footlight Dance Centre.
    Several nonprofit groups will be present to share news and information, including the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Wood River Land Trust and The Mountain School.
    “We really are looking at this as an opportunity to welcome fall to the valley, and to bring other business and nonprofit organizations together,” Drake said.
    Upcoming events will include the post-Halloween Punkin’ Chuckin’ and a new partnership with the Senior Connection will include yard clean-up and winterizing for senior citizens.
    The organization will also help with the Senior Connection’s annual Festival of Trees fundraiser. Viewing of trees decorated for auction will be at the garden and the two entities will share the profits.
    “As the community’s only public garden, we need to be able to offer our education for free,” Drake said. “It leaves a little hole in the budget, but we feel confident in this direction.”
    The instructors are also collaborating with the Blaine County School District to offer program that fits into their rubric.
    “We are really excited to be at this point,” Drake said. “You will see us launch a lot more collaboration with more of our nonprofit friends.”

Festival first
When: Saturday, Sept. 28, from 12–4 p.m.
Where: Sawtooth Botanical Garden, south of Ketchum.


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