Ballard Park, Newport's Only Nature Preserve, will be transformed into a blooming garden of lights on February 21, 22 and 23 when Friends of Ballard Park hosts its 8th Annual Illuminated Garden. Local school groups, artists and members of the public are invited to participate in decorating the unique features of the park's three acre quarry meadow with light displays.
The free event, which will run from 6 to 9 pm, was created in 2006 as Friends of Ballard Park's first winter event. It is held during the February school vacation week as part of Newport's Winter Festival. Each year the tour gets a little more dazzling as new lighting exhibits and more lights are added in the trees, thirty foot rock wall, meadow and vernal pond. Previous exhibits have included large projections by Frank Dwyer of Stagecraft Sound & Lighting, packing tape sculptures by area students, replicas of Newport buildings by students at Cluny School, a large metal heart dubbed "Holding" by Rose Escobar and colored ice disks and sculptures created by Barnabus Webster.
Friends of Ballard Park's educator, Erika Klinkhammer, is currently building igloos from recycled water and milk jugs with students at three of Newport's four elementary schools in after school programs. The igloos will be strung with Christmas tree lights and displayed at this year's event. Friends of Ballard Park is currently accepting thoroughly cleaned out gallon milk jugs for the project as well as Christmas tree lights. Donations may be dropped off at Friends of Ballard Park's office-- 226 Bellevue Ave. #10 Monday through Friday between 10 am and 5 pm. So, if you have Christmas tree lights you'd like to get rid of please consider donating them to Friends of Ballard Park to use in the 8th Annual Illuminated Garden. We will provide a tax receipt for your donation and give your lights a great new use! Friends of Ballard Park is also looking for outdoor extension cords and lamps-- two foot or higher and interesting lamp shades for the event.
Are you an artist, teacher or member of a civic organization and interested in creating a display? The call for entries form is available on Friends of Ballard Park's website, www.ballardpark.org. Eight works will be accepted for the Illuminated Garden. Each display requires a light source (solar powered or electric) and a power cord. Power sources may be provided if requested in advance. Submissions must be able to withstand 60 mile per hour gusts of wind and rain. Even large, free-standing displays need a base to keep from being knocked over.
The deadline for entries is Friday, February 1. If selected, installation of your display can take place on Wednesday, February 20 or Thursday, February 21. Installation must be completed by 5pm Thursday, February 21. After the three night event, artwork must be removed from Ballard Park by 6pm on Monday, February 25.
Sponsorships of the event help to offset event costs and fund educational programs associated with the event. Sponsorships provide a myriad of promotion for companies and range from $500 to $5,000. If you're interested in sponsoring the 8th Annual Illuminated Garden, please call Friends of Ballard Park at 401.619.3377 or visit us on the web at www.ballardpark.org
Other Ballard Park News
Thank you to those who have donated to Friends of Ballard Park's 2012 Annual Appeal! Funds raised from the Annual Appeal help to offset general operating expenses not covered by memberships, grants, or corporate sponsorships but are necessary in order to host free, family-oriented events, offer educational programs and preserve Newport's Only Nature Preserve. Donations to the Annual Appeal are 100% tax deductible. All donors will receive confirmation of their donation as well as acknowledgement in our Annual Report and on the Friends of Ballard Park website.
Your contribution will help us to continue with our efforts in making Ballard Park an inviting resource for the community. Donations may be sent to: Friends of Ballard Park, 226 Bellevue Ave. #10, Newport, RI 02840. Please make checks payable to Friends of Ballard Park.
We wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy new year. We look forward to seeing you along the trails of Ballard Park in 2013!