The Western Kentucky Botanical Garden, in collaboration with Presenting Sponsor US Bank Home Mortgage, announces the re-scheduling of this weekend’s “Balloons Over The Garden” due to predicted unfavorable weather conditions for balloon flights.
The “Balloons Over The Garden” events, a part of the 6th Annual “Dazzling Daylilies Festival”, are re-scheduled for Friday, August 28th, Saturday, August 29th & Sunday, August 30th @ The Garden. The previously announced sponsorship support remains in place.
The entire “Balloons Over The Garden” Schedule, the Volunteer Leadership, the Volunteer Teams, the Full Balloon Flight Reservations & All Activities remain the same and are now scheduled for Friday, August 28th, Saturday, August 29th & Sunday, August 30th.
THE ANNUAL DAYLILY SALE CONDUCTED AS A PART OF “DAZZLING DAYLILIES – BALLOONS OVER THE GARDEN” WILL PROCEED AS PLANNED ON SATURDAY, JUNE 20TH (7 AM – NOON) AT THE GARDEN IN OWENSBORO.
Remember seeing those magnificent hot air balloons floating through the skies of west Owensboro last summer? Well, they’re back this year as part of “2015 Dazzling Daylilies – Balloons over the Garden.” Hosted by the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden, the festival, now in its sixth year, is The Garden’s premier summer event. If you’ve never visited The Garden, now’s certainly the time, as the festival offers something for everyone. Like The Garden itself, the festival evolves each year to pair new and exciting ideas with tried and true favorites.
Adding to the vibrant atmosphere is The Garden’s rich history. As Susie Tyler, full-time volunteer at The Garden explained, “This is not your typical botanical garden. Whereas most begin from the grounds of an estate, Owensboro’s began from corn and soybean fields.” On land that formerly housed the Berry Farm, The Garden has steadily grown since its inception over 22 years ago. And to truly appreciate The Garden, it helps to know its past.
Ever noticed the grand white house on the west end of 2nd Street near Carter Road? Then you’ve seen WeatherBerry – the original farmhouse on the property that adjoins The Garden. Susie and her husband, Dr. Bill Tyler, purchased the farmhouse in 1990 and named it after a former owner, Henry Scott Berry. Years before the Tylers converted the farmhouse into a bed and breakfast, Berry resided there in the early 1900s, and acted as the local weatherman by utilizing a weather station in his front yard – hence the name “WeatherBerry.”
Though the Tylers no longer operate their bed and breakfast at WeatherBerry, like Berry before them, their imprint on The Garden remains. Besides being a full-time volunteer at The Garden, Susie, along with Dr. Tyler, donated the original 7 acres on which The Garden sits. Their donation to the City only came with the stipulation that the land be used to house a botanical garden. Since that time, The Garden has expanded to encompass 12 acres, with the most recent addition being a sought-after piece of frontage on 2nd Street.
For a property with such a rich history, it was a natural next step for The Garden to host an event as grand as Dazzling Daylilies – Balloons over the Garden. With respect to where the idea for the festival originated, Susie exclaimed, “It was right under our noses!” In addition to the balloons, The Garden attracts guests from far and wide to marvel at their stunning array of daylilies. As part of the festival, The Garden hosts an annual daylily sale. According to Susie, The Garden is part of a larger reciprocal agreement program, whereby members of other botanical gardens around the country make it a point to visit The Garden to look, shop, and buy.
To accompany the celebration of the daylilies, the balloons were added to the festival a few years ago. The driving force behind that addition was the president of The Garden’s board of directors, Robert Smiley. Says Susie, “Robert, a key individual at U.S. Bank Home Mortgage, really made the festival fly!” Now, in addition to U.S. Bank Home Mortgage, several other national companies sponsor the festival, along with loyal local sponsors such as Atmos and Kenergy. Susie is also quick to point out that The Garden and the festival would not be so successful without the help of the 150 volunteers that contribute each year. She stresses that the Owensboro Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is another entity that’s integral to their success.
This year, Dazzling Daylilies – Balloons over the Garden has added children’s activities and events to broaden the scope of the festival, and introduce The Garden to an even wider audience. When you consider the food court, with offerings from local chefs, and events like tethered rides and inflatables, the festival truly offers something for everyone. And at only $2 for admission on the balloon activity days, it’s difficult to find a reason not to go.
For more information on the 2015 Dazzling Daylilies – Balloons over the Garden, contact The Garden at (270)852-8925, or visit them online at www.wkbg.org.