Brookgreen's Harvest Festival draws 6,500

  • Friday, October 19, 2012

Brookgreen Gardens welcomed more than 6,500 visitors this past Saturday and Sunday for its Harvest Home Weekend Fall Festival.
Helen Benso, vice president for marketing at Brookgreen, said this year was the biggest attendance ever for the event.
“We had beautiful weather for both days,” Benso said. “That brought out a lot of people to make scarecrows, ride on hay rides and paint pumpkins.”
Other activities included live music by Susana and Timmy Abell and Down Home Duo, arts and crafts vendors and demonstrations, and local authors Sherman Carmichael and Robert McAlister signing copies of their books.
New this year, Jerry Walls, naturalist, professional bird guide, and co-star of the television show “Carolina Safari,” presented educational and interactive programs featuring his collection of live animals.
Also new this year was an additional hay ride route near the Lowcountry Zoo.
But most of the action was near the Visitor’s Center.
Hundreds of hand-made scarecrows and painted pumpkins were sure signs of the popularity of the event.
People who made scarecrows were invited to take them home for a $5 fee to pay for materials.
In previous years, scarecrows were judged and prizes were awarded, but no more.
“They’re all winners,” Benso said. “Everyone had fun and that’s the whole point.”
Attendees could bring their own clothing or use donated clothing from Brookgreen volunteers and staff.
Pumpkins were available in small and large sizes and children and adults enjoyed painting them with original designs.
“This is a wonderful event,” Benso said. “It is the one time of year that Brookgreen dedicates to kids and kids at heart.”
Brookgreen Gardens’ next event, for adults only, is a new one called Brew at the Zoo, a beer tasting from 6 to 9 p.m. to be held on Oct. 27.
For information about this and other events, visit www.brookgreen.org.

By Clayton Stairs

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