Ozark Outdoors

Evening masquerades at Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden Oct. 6-7

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Romance in the Garden is Friday and Saturday, Oct 6 and 7,  at the Miszumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, the perfect place to enjoy an evening of fine music along with a quiet stroll in one of the Ozarks’ most popular garden destinations.

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board, in partnership with Friends of the Garden will host two rare evening events at Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden on Wednesday and Thursday,  Oct. 6-7.

The Romance in the Garden Moonlight Masquerade is 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Oct.  6, . giving adults a romantic opportunity to enjoy music, candles, lanterns and moonlight in the garden. Masquerade attire is encouraged. Live music provided by The Soul Society.

Wishing lanterns will be available for purchase on site, or visitors can reserve a free “wishing lantern” by purchasing advance tickets online by 5 p.m. Oct. 5, 5 p.m. Admission is $10 per person, or $15 per couple, ages 17 and older only.

Optional picnic baskets, including two masks, caramel apple bites, cheese and crackers, sparkling juice, wishing lantern and admission for two, are available for $45. Purchase online or reserve by Oct. 5.

The Twilight Masquerade for Families, 5-7 p.m. on  Saturday, Oct. 7, will again be a masquerade-themed evening in the gardens, with candles, lanterns, moonlight and music from favorite movies and musicals, designed for all ages to enjoy. Participants are invited to come in masquerade attire or Halloween costumes, or create a costume on site. Wishing lanterns will be available for purchase, or reserve a free Wishing Lantern by purchasing advance tickets online by 5 p.m. Oct. 5.  Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children, or $20 for a family up to six people.

Advance tickets are available online for both events by 5 p.m. Oct 5, at FriendsoftheGarden.org or call the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center at 417-891-1515.

Now three decades old, the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden is a 7.5-acre walled garden of traditional Japanese design, created in 1985 in partnership with Springfield’s Sister City Isesaki, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. The garden includes koi ponds, a moon bridge, meditation sand garden, a tea house, a 10-ton Alaskan Jade rock, waterfalls, pagodas and stone lanterns. The garden is of of the oldest attractions at the Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park.

For more information, visit FriendsoftheGarden.org.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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