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Photos: Winter Garden Aglow celebrates 25th anniversary in Boise

KBOI Boise logo KBOI Boise 11/30/2021 Trevor Fay
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Winter Garden Aglow is back at the Idaho Botanical Garden, this time for its 25th anniversary.

The walk through the garden path takes about 45 minutes. For that walk, you'll want special glasses, available at the front, which allows you to see animals reflected off the lights.

And there's much more.

Food, for example. Venders are selling nuts and hot chocolate and providing cake to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Winter Garden Aglow.

VIPs get first dibs on the light show, with around 250 of them showing up Tuesday night.

"I've always wanted to come here," said Susette Baker, a VIP attendee. "I've lived here for 16 years but I've never made it out to Aglow. And I'm so happy we finally did."

Seventy-five percent of the money raised there helps keep the lights on and a variety of programs funded at all times of year, including nature camps for kids and educational events.

That's why folks are encouraged to come out and participate.

"Take in all the sights and the sounds and the smells of the event," said Erin Anderson, executive director at the Idaho Botanical Garden. "And if you do happen to walk through a little bit faster, you have an opportunity to go through it again."

There are 450,000 lights, 4,800 strands, all over the garden grounds. 

It can get a bit chilly out there at night, so in addition to the hot cocoa, there's nine to 10 fire barrels. The garden is also an excellent employment opportunity for inmates from the nearby reentry center.

"Our goal at the botanical garden is to provide women from the center an opportunity to find a great new career once they exit the system," Anderson said. 

For the attendees, whether it's their first time or 100th time, it's never too late to make Winter Garden Aglow a holiday tradition.

"It's maybe a tradition of coming out here every year of them growing up and remembering that," Baker said. 

Winter Garden Aglow will run until December 31st, Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are available online and people are encouraged to buy them in advance.

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