The Collegian
Sunday, December 05, 2021

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Garden Glow event illuminates Maymont historic estate

<p>Lanterns illuminate Maymont Park.&nbsp;</p>

Lanterns illuminate Maymont Park. 

The autumn landscape of Richmond’s Maymont Park shines brilliantly at night during the park’s annual Garden Glow event where trees and historic buildings are illuminated in different colors and light patterns. 

Every night on Wednesday through Sunday until Nov. 7, Maymont’s Carriage House Lawn transforms into a “Glow Village” with a hay maze, fire pits, food trucks, beverages and a glow shop where visitors can purchase glowing necklaces, bracelets, wands and other merchandise. 

Visitors can hike down the Woodland Trail and wander the Japanese Garden illuminated with colored lights and lanterns. 

“The historic Japanese Garden at Maymont is one of Richmond’s favorite destinations and that public affection is shown by the popularity of the event each year,” Maymont Executive Director Parke Richeson said, according to a press release on Oct. 12. 

All proceeds of the Garden Glow event benefit the Maymont Foundation

The 100-acre landscape and exquisite collection of architecture overlooking the James River is located just four miles from the University of Richmond. James Henry Dooley, a successful Richmond attorney and businessman invested in rebuilding the South’s economy post-Civil War, and his wife, Sallie, completed their Gilded Age estate at Maymont in 1893, according to the foundation's website.

After Sallie Dooley's death in 1925, the estate was left to the ownership of the city of Richmond in accordance with the couple’s wishes. As a result of the city’s inability to maintain the estate to its fullest potential through the years, the Maymont Foundation assumed the role of manager, promoter and developer of the estate in 1975, according to the foundation’s website.

The nonprofit remains dedicated to fostering the Dooleys’ original vision of Maymont as a park and museum for all generations, as an asset to the city of Richmond and as a place to foster community engagement, leadership and philanthropy, according to the website.

The public park in Richmond comprises the Maymont Mansion -- now a historic house museum exhibit -- as well as an arboretum, formal gardens, a carriage collection, a nature center and farm animal and native wildlife habitats. 

To keep the estate open to the public and maintain its gardens, habitats and animals, the Maymont Foundation must raise more than $3.5 million each year through private donations and events like Garden Glow. 

Advance ticket prices are $12 for adults, $8 for children ages 3-12 and free for children ages 2 and under. Tickets are also available on-site for purchase during the event, but they may be limited due to capacity limitations. 

Food and beverages are available in the Glow Village on the Carriage House Lawn. Food trucks are on site and visitors are encouraged to check Maymont’s Facebook page or website for the scheduled food truck participants which vary each night. Participants over the age of 21 may purchase alcoholic beverage tickets for $7 per ticket. 

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Close-toed shoes are recommended for the self-guided walking event with moderate hiking and inclines. Face coverings are required at all times, both indoors and outdoors, for staff and volunteers. Participants are encouraged to wear face coverings whenever possible if they are unable to properly social distance among their party and other attendees or are unvaccinated. 

Contact writer Katie Grogan at katie.grogan@richmond.edu.

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