Voting is underway to name the Bok Tower Gardens squirrel mascot. The winning name will be unveiled at the Boktoberfest Plant Sale. Does he look like a Wolfgang, Fritz, Toby, Hans, Eichhorn or Sparky?
Holding a German stein featuring the Singing Tower, the squirrel is dressed in lederhosen, and wearing an Alpine hat. The image, created by Jamey Christoph who illustrated the Gardens’ logo, will be featured on Boktoberfest T-shirts. Visit boktoberfest.com to cast your vote!
Free admission will be offered for the second annual Boktoberfest from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 16, 2010. The event will feature live music, German food, craft beers, tree climbing and the new Pumpkin Patch for kids.
Some of the plants for sale will include orchids, palms, trees, tropical fruits, Florida natives, ferns, bamboo, roses, heliconias, bromeliads, tillandsia air plants and water lilies. Education will be provided by Master Gardeners, plant societies, garden clubs and the UF-IFAS Extension Service. Florida wildflower expert Dr. Walter Taylor and popular radio host Tom MacCubbin, will host educational workshops along with other gardening experts.
Live music will be provided by Alpine Express, a four-member lederhosen ensemble performing authentic German music (pictured above). The group plays instruments from Germany, Austria and Switzerland including long Swiss alphorns the size of trees; a wooden Alpine xylophone, that is often referred to as “wooden laughter;” the “Singing Saw” and more. Other entertainment will include WMNF 88.5 FM’s Polka Party Express, Good Times Jazz Band, Rifle Roost, the 60-bell Singing Tower carillon and Juggles the Clown.
Activities for children will be available in the Pumpkin Patch. Admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. is $5 per child. Children can build a scarecrow, create fall art projects, bob for apples, and carve, paint and decorate one of the many pumpkins for sale. Face painting and air brush tattoos will be available for an additional fee. Pathfinder Outdoor Education will lead Family Tree Climbing from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $12 per person ages 6 and up.
Although admission is free, donations are welcome to support Bok Tower Gardens, a non-profit organization. Tickets may be purchased for drawings that will be held throughout the day to win a variety of products and services donated by the community. Although shuttle service will not be available throughout the Gardens, free satellite parking will be provided by First Assembly of God. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Blue Palmetto Café will serve German specials and a limited menu of other items. The Biergarten will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors who would like to picnic may bring blankets and chairs. Pinewood Estate self-guided tours will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $5 per person.
Voted “Florida’s Best Garden,” the National Historic Landmark was dedicated in 1929 as a gift from world peace advocate Edward Bok. Nearly 700 acres of conservation lands and gardens surround a 205-foot neo-Gothic and art deco Singing Tower carillon and Pinewood Estate, a 20-room, Mediterranean-style 1930s winter retreat. The popular Central Florida destination is a haven for wildlife with hidden geocaches and rare plants found nowhere else in the world.