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Holiday lights event kicks off at Anchorage-area botanical garden

 (KTUU)
(KTUU) (KTUU)
Published: Nov. 29, 2018 at 1:37 PM AKST
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After several years of consideration, the Alaska Botanical Garden will welcome the public after-hours this winter for its first-ever Holiday Lights event.

"We want to offer Anchorage residents and visitors another way to enjoy winter in Alaska," said Mike Monterusso, newly-minted director of the garden. "This is the first of many years for this event and we hope it becomes an Anchorage tradition."

From Nov. 29 through the month of December, the event will take place each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Decorative holiday lights have been installed throughout the garden, with specific days highlighted by activities specific to each: Thursdays include stargazing; Fridays will have bonfires, hot chocolate and live music; and family crafts will be available on Saturdays. There will also be a special New Year's Eve event.

"We already have a beautiful garden enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year," Monterusso said. "Now we want to use the space in a new and exciting way."

Monterusso added that the group intends to expand the event each year as interest and awareness increase.

"It feels great to finally get this going," he said. "The first year is probably the most difficult. The main reward will be when we see people enjoying the space and having fun together."

Tickets are $7 per person, ages 4 and up, and $5 for garden members. Free parking is available at the Benny Benson parking lot adjacent to the garden at 4601 Campbell Airstrip Rd.