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January Special Events at Bok Tower Gardens
by Cassie Jacoby
January 2, 2011

Bok Tower Gardens will offer a variety of special events during January. From moonlight carillon concerts and art exhibits to concerts at Pinewood Estate, there is something for everyone to enjoy. More than 150 varieties of camellias and hundreds of azaleas along with nun’s orchids, salvias, irises and other flowering plants create an explosion of color during the peak blooming season from mid-January through March. During March and April, visitors will enjoy the scent of orange blossoms as they wind along the entrance road. Visit to see what’s currently in bloom.

Pinewood Estate will re-open for self-guided tours January 17. Tours are available Monday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests will receive a Pinewood Estate tour program, which contains historical information about the home. Pinewood Estate docents will be available throughout the home to answer questions about Pinewood and its furnishings.

Guided gardens tours will be available beginning January 17. Garden guides will lead visitors on an hour-long walking tour, sharing information regarding the flora and fauna as well as Gardens’ history. Because tours are conducted by different guides each day, no tour is exactly the same so visitors can enjoy something different each time they tour. Guided garden tour hours are Monday through Saturday at noon and 2 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. and are included with general admission.

Through February 3, the Visitor Center will showcase award-winning Sebring artist Janet King’s watercolor exhibit “Pinewood in Watercolor.” A member of the prestigious Florida Watercolor Society, King captures the essence of Pinewood Estate, one of the finest examples of Mediterranean-style architecture.

On January 9, the Gardens will commemorate the life of founder Edward Bok who died on this day in 1930, less than a year after the Singing Tower was dedicated. On January 17, celebrate the life of humanitarian and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., who like Bok, championed the cause of unity among all people. The 30-minute carillon concerts will be held at 1 and 3 p.m.

On January 29, 30 and February 1, special carillon concerts will be performed at 1 and 3 p.m. as part of the 82nd anniversary celebration. One of the Gardens’ most popular special events, “Crossing the Moat,” will give visitors a rare opportunity to cross the moat surrounding the Singing Tower and walk past the Tower’s Great Brass Door. On January 29 and 30, visitors can enter through the wrought iron gates from noon to 1 p.m. and 2 to 3 p.m. to view the Great Brass Door and walk past Bok’s burial site. Other activities planned for the weekend include playing the original Dedication Day video from 1929 in the Visitor Center throughout the weekend and William De Turk will perform live carillon concerts at 1 and 3 p.m.

The 2011 Moonlight Carillon Concert Series opens on January 18 with an hour-long carillon concert under the light of the full moon. Visit the Gardens after normal operating hours for half-price admission and have a light dinner at the Blue Palmetto Café before the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. The series continues February 17, March 18 and April 15.

On January 23, the Music at Pinewood Concert Series begins in the intimate setting at historic Pinewood Estate. Hailed by critics as one of the most exciting piano duos of our time, Drs. Edward Turgeon and Ann Louise-Turgeon will perform on the 1917 Steinway, model L grand piano that belonged to Nellie Lee Holt Bok, Bok’s daughter-in-law. Upcoming Music at Pinewood concerts include pianist Joseph Schwartz on February 27 and Eugene Flemm with Edward Dixon on March 27. Reservations recommended. Each concert is $25 with a 10 percent discount for members. Concerts begin at 4:30 p.m. and are followed by a reception with the musicians. Order tickets online, call 863-676-1408, ext. 2252 or e-mail

On January 28, Bok Tower Gardens will host its annual Volunteer Job Fair from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Information will be available from a variety of Gardens’ departments that offer volunteer opportunities including Information Desk greeters; education; garden guides; Pinewood historians; horticulture; weddings and special events; shuttle drivers; and assistance with clerical, office and special projects as well as the Café, Gift and Plant Shop. Call Lisa Allen at 863-676-1408, ext. 2224 or email to RSVP.

Register now for a 12-week watercolor class with Sebring artist Owen Jolly beginning January 27. Learn new painting techniques, strengthen drawing skills and enhance creativity with on-location and studio work, demonstrations and constructive critique. Still life, floral, landscape and portrait subjects will be included. Step-by-step basic watercolor techniques and the elements of design will be taught in the beginner class. Classes are held mostly indoors. Beginner through advanced classes will be held on Thursdays. Reservations required. A list of materials and class times will be provided. Cost is $220 with a 10 percent discount for members. Register online, call 863-676-1408, ext. 2252 or e-mail

About Bok Tower Gardens:

Voted Florida’s Best Garden, Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark located 55 miles southwest of Orlando and 60 miles east of Tampa in rolling hills of citrus near Lake Wales. Open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., last admission is at 5 p.m. The Visitor Center, Café and Gift Shop are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free. For more information contact Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales, Florida 33853; 863-676-1408 or visit

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