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Osmanthus Gardens set to come to light

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This Wednesday the switch will be flicked to light up Cornwall Park with the start of the annual Osmanthus Gardens Lantern Festival.

This year is the 10th year of lighting the gardens, an occasion that’s become a highlight of the annual events calendar in the Hastings district.

For five evenings from April 3, visitors enter a magical wonderland of illuminated trees, sparkling grass, traditional Chinese silk lanterns and large lotus lanterns floating on one of garden’s lakes.

On the evenings of Friday, April 5 and Saturday April 6, the gardens will be enhanced by performers who will entertain in traditional costume.

On Sunday night, April 7, a group of RSE workers from the Solomon Islands will add their voices to the ambience with a performance of a group of songs.

Hastings district councillor Kevin Watkins says the lights will be turned on from dusk till 9.30pm each night.

“During that time visitors will be able to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the gardens while ambient music plays adding to the special atmosphere.”

He put the growing popularity of the event to the colourful, but quiet, family oriented nature of the event.

“There is a peaceful ambience in there after a busy day – people love being able to go somewhere quiet, and they also love to see one of their parks, which is usually locked at night, coming to life at night time.”

Thousands of people visit the gardens every year, and along with those numbers increasing the number of lights are constantly added to – with an extra 125 small lanterns on display this year along with the large silk and lotus lanterns

The lights will be turned on from 6pm each night from April 3 to April 7, entry is by koha donation, the proceeds from which are used to buy more lighting for the event.

1 April 2019

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