Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Shangri La is celebrating the season with its annual display of decorative trees and the public is invited.
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, 2111 W. Park Ave. in Orange, invites the public to attend its annual Christmas Strolls through the gardens to see more than 30 decorated and beautifully lit Christmas trees on display. Shangri La is open for this special event from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 21; and again Thursday, Dec. 26 through Saturday, Dec. 28 during those hours. Admission is $3 per person or a donation of one can good per person which is donated to Orange Christian Services.
“We had a good kick-off weekend this past week,” said Rick Lewandowski, director of Shangri La. “We have 36 trees on display this year, which is up from the 25 trees we had in 2012. Having more trees has helped create a more festive atmosphere.”
In the past, the stroll was open on different days spread throughout the week. Lewandowski said the consolidation of days has helped streamline the event.
“Having the Christmas Stroll on three consecutive days like we are doing now instead of spreading it out is less of a burden on the staff, and it is easier for people to remember, I think,” he continued. “This past weekend was our opening and it seems to have been fairly well received by the public judging by the number of people who attended.”
Lewandowski hopes to continue the tradition into 2014 and have it grow and become a popular event for the community and residents of Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana.
“A lot of people have said how much they enjoyed the trees this year, and the cold weather has really helped with the atmosphere of the event,” he added. “We want people to come out and see the trees and have a good time, plus help out our local charities in the process.”