The Holy Grail of Camelot featured at the Garden After Dark event at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City. (Michael Bunderson / The Signpost)
The Holy Grail of Camelot featured at the Garden After Dark event at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City. (Michael Bunderson / The Signpost)

This weekend, the Red Butte Garden will be full of frights, ghostly tales and a community ready to celebrate the fall season with nature.

The Red Butte Garden will host the annual Garden After Dark event on October 29 and 30 from 6 to 10 p.m. The Red Butte Garden is located in Salt Lake City at 300 S. Wakara Way.

LaraLee Smith is the director of the Garden After Dark event.

“You don’t get to go off all the side paths [during the event], but you get a glimpse of our major garden areas,” Smith said. “You get to see all the themed gardens through the path.”

The path that people will be taken on is a little less than a mile-long walk through the formal gardens.

The formal gardens spread over 18-20 acres of the total 100 acres of Red Butte Gardens.

Gardens after Dark has been a recurring activity for the past 10 years. The activity takes place through the month of October, allowing a chance for the public to go through the gardens and experience its life in a nighttime setting.

While walking, those in attendance will venture through Avalon and read facts about the legends as they progress. People will be able to observe the sword Excalibur in the hand of the Lady of the Lake who guards it.

Additionally, those who feel “brave and pure of heart” can even embark on the quest to Camelot for the Holy Grail.

In the walk-through of the gardens, there are many activities along the way for children and adults alike, which include making a coat of arms on a shield in Arthur’s Armory, making potions with Merlin in his cave and face painting.

This year, the Iria Productions dance company, directed by Liz Ivkovich and Alysia Ramos, is producing “The Mists,” which consists of 60 performers located throughout the Gardens. These performers will be positioned along the walkway during the event.

Ivkovich explains that the dancers perform for three hours each night with little breaks in between to prevent exhaustion. Ivkovich mentioned that most of the dancers have been dancing for a good portion of their lives.

Scott Mower, a greenhouse assistant at Red Butte Gardens, said he will be dressed up as Merlin during the event.

“It’s just a different feel than during the day,” Mower commented.

The event is open to the public and people of all ages are allowed to participate, whether in costume or not. The cost for the event is $6 for garden members and $12 for the general public; it is free for children under the age of two. Group discounts will also be given to groups of 12 or more.

For more information about the event, contact Red Butte Gardens at 801-581-8454 or on their website.

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