Tucson, Arizona – LightsUp! A Festival of Illumination presented by NOVA Home Loans and illuminated by The Stonewall Fund at the CFSA will premiere at Tucson Botanical Gardens (TBG) on Friday, November 25th, and run for 44 nights through January 15th, 2023. “For more than 30 years the Gardens has offered a traditional luminaria experience that is beloved by the community,” said TBG Executive Director, Michelle Conklin. “As the marketplace has become progressively more competitive, and utilizing lessons learned during the pandemic, the Gardens has committed to a new vision that offers a unique seasonal experience while retaining elements of the traditional displays,” she added.
Designed by nationally known public garden landscape architect Tres Fromme, a carefully curated and artfully sequenced series of illuminated experiences will transform the Gardens into a compelling, all new holiday show. Six distinct but meticulously connected thematic zones comprise LightsUp!: Arrival, Welcome Walk, Whimsy Way, Bedazzled Boulevard, Star Shower, and Luminaria Lane. Relationships among color palettes throughout the show are of special importance since the property is of historical significance.
“One of our guiding principles in creating the design was to blend those well-loved traditions with new and awe-inspiring light displays. Keeping the luminarias, but combining them with more than a million lights among the canopies of our mature trees is one way we are accomplishing that,” said Conklin.
In addition to clouds of LED lights throughout the display, custom-built, oversized props and pieces created by local artisans including light tunnels, cypress-inspired spindle trees, punchedtin stars and trees, light curtains, and luminaria chandeliers and archways will all contribute to creating an unforgettable holiday experience unlike anything ever seen in southern Arizona. A casual walk through the show will take approximately 60 minutes and will be accompanied by a soundtrack that, in some areas, will be choreographed with the lights.
“In a unique, historic setting like TBG, LightsUp! will offer unrivaled creativity and design expertise that combines diverse creative disciplines into an unrivaled whole. Artistry in light, refined holiday décor, and sound design will all be woven into thoughtfully choreographed, delightful, multi-sensory experiences. This will be something generations of Tucson families will incorporate into their holiday traditions for years to come,” said Conklin.
Running for 44 evenings during the holiday season, the festival will be open six nights a week. To purchase tickets or for more information about LightsUp! A Festival of Illumination, please visit TucsonBotanical.org.
TBG also thanks the following additional sponsors that have donated generously to the creation of LightsUp!:
Arizona Office of Tourism, Bayer Science, Beach Fleischman, Caldwell/Watza Construction, City of Tucson Special Event Grant, COX, Crest Insurance, DeConcini McDonald Yetwin Macy, LLC, Desert Diamond Casino, Frank Williams Design, Geico, Hacienda at the Canyon/River, HSL Properties, Jim Click Automotive and Jim Click Foundation, Kathy Alexander, Kasser Family Foundation, Kautz Family Foundation, La Posada Communities, Betty and Leonard Guarraia, Lloyd Construction, Long Realty Cares, PICOR, Rain Bird, Tank's Green Stuff, TCR Solutions, TEP, The Solar Store, and Visit Tucson.
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About the Gardens: Located on the site of the historic Porter property, and celebrating over 40 years of living beauty, Tucson Botanical Gardens was recently named one of the top 10 North American Gardens worth traveling for by the Canadian Garden Council and the American Public Gardens Association. Among mature trees and expertly cultivated foliage, specialty gardens such as the Cactus & Succulent Garden, Barrio Garden and Herb Garden highlight the diversity of native plants while offering a lush oasis in the heart of Tucson, Arizona. Tropical butterflies from around the world are featured in the Cox Butterfly & Orchid Pavilion from October to May each year. The Gardens offers year-round tours, community events, classes, art displays, and international exhibits, as well as the creative, seasonal menu of Edna’s Eatery café. Learn more at www.tucsonbotanical.org.