Concerts, Jazz, Art ontap at Gardens in 2013-14 season

Pinecrest Gardens has grown to be a unique cultural asset nestled in our thriving and inclusive Village community.

Each year Pinecrest Gardens welcomes more than 150,000 visitors and our attendance grows as area residents and visitors discover the natural botanical beauty while visiting to partake in a cornucopia of arts and cultural activities — festivals, art exhibits, concerts, theater, lectures, dance performances, markets, culinary and holiday celebrations — either organized by our staff or co-produced.

The beautiful 531-seat Banyan Bowl is a raked outdoor amphitheater that boasts new theater seating, a weather-proof geodesic dome that now extends to cover the full stage area and a full complement of theatrical sound and lighting equipment. It is an ideal venue for presenting the very best local, regional and international performing artists at affordable ticket prices (maximum $30). Thanks to a supportive Village Council with a vision of creating a venue that honors its rich history as a world-class tourist attraction and entertainment facility (formerly Parrot Jungle), providing a recreational space that is demographically all-inclusive and provides the community with a cultural experience that encompasses performing and visual arts, this historic venue has embarked on a bold, new direction of a cultural arts park where all of South Florida can find artistic experiences that entertain, educate, enhance and empower audiences of all ages.

This year the Gardens will present 10 new art exhibits in the Gallery, six orchestral concerts performed by three different orchestras and two jazz series — The South Motors Jazz Series on our main-stage featuring seven great performances and the South Motors Gen-Next Jazz program, a free-to-the-public series featuring the jazz stars of tomorrow.

The Gardens also will present five plays performed by three different theatrical companies, including three musicals, three dance companies, including Hip Hop, Flamenco and Mixed Ability Contemporary, and a pop series featuring the Greater Miami Symphonic Band.

Additionally there is a festival every month, including Howl-O-Ween, a dog friendly event Oct. 27; Nights of Lights, where the Gardens lights up the night with a magical display of the season’s twinkling light features Nov. 27-Jan. 6; a Holiday Festival celebrating the season in music, dance and merriment on Dec. 7; the 11th annual Fine Arts Festival Jan. 11-12, one of Florida’s premiere juried art shows; a Chili Cook-Off on Feb. 8; A Fine Food and Chocolate Show March 8-9; a spring egg hunt called Eggstravaganza on April 12 and the Earth Day Festival on April 27. Performing arts, art shows, festivals, family movie and cult movie nights, and several elegant evening Soirees, there is no end to the entertainment and enjoyment this magnificent venue offers, with a backdrop of one of the most breathtaking botanical settings in all of South Florida.

All of our performing arts activities begin in October and I will keep you informed with the event schedule in this featured column What’s Up at the Gardens, a regular feature in the Pinecrest Tribune. For information on any of our events or festivals, call 305-669- 6990 or go to <www.pinecrestgardens. org>. See you at the Gardens!

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