Shangri La Gardens hosting Autumn Fair; details for final week shared

Published 12:02 am Sunday, October 22, 2023

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is welcoming the public to Autumn Fair, the grand finale of the 13th Annual Scarecrow Festival, on Oct. 28.

This day of family harvest fun marks the final opportunity to view more than 70 unique scarecrows made out of repurposed and recycled materials.

The fall festivities include opportunities for hands-on activities beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Admission is free of charge.

Marlene Cox, guest services coordinator at Shangri La, said the autumnal gardens reflect the changing season with fall flowering displays and thousands of pumpkins placed throughout the garden.

“One of the special Autumn Fair activities includes pumpkin decorating for children, who may take their decorated pumpkin home to enjoy,” Cox said. “This allows the pumpkins used for Scarecrow Festival to be repurposed once the festival is over.”

This celebration of the fall season provides visitors with both a fun and educational nature experience.

There are a variety of opportunities for free family fun with activities such as scavenger hunts, a Shangri La obstacle course, hayrides and pontoon boat rides along Adams Bayou.

Visitors may take a closer look at nature by investigating some of the critters that call Shangri La home.

Visitors can expect to experience fun for all ages at Autumn Fair.

Katie Krantz, associate director at Shangri La, encourages the community to view creative displays of scarecrows by businesses, schools, churches and other organizations within the area before the Scarecrow Festival ends.

“It is amazing to see the local talent that is reflected within the festival,” Krantz said.

“Scarecrow Festival also involves a friendly competition, as visitors may cast their vote for their favorite scarecrow on our website. The winners of the scarecrow voting are announced at Autumn Fair, and we encourage the community to come out and show their support of these amazing scarecrow exhibits.”

Autumn Fair activities last until 3 p.m., but visitors are welcome to enjoy the gardens until 5 p.m.

“Autumn Fair is a fun event for the whole family to celebrate the fall season at Shangri La and wrap up Scarecrow Festival,” Krantz said. “The changing weather provides such a great atmosphere for visitors to delight in all that nature and our community have to offer.”

For an opportunity to view the scarecrow displays after-hours, Sip and Stroll will be held Oct. 26 from 5-8 p.m.

Visitors may purchase delectable treats and spirits from Free State Cellars during this evening event. Additionally, this experience includes live music to enjoy while strolling through the gardens. Admission to Sip and Stroll is also free of charge.

Shangri La Gardens and Nature Center is located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange.

Shangri La Gardens is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (last entry at 4:30).

For more information about Autumn Fair, please visit shangrilagardens.org.