By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter —
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University monthly Concerts in the Garden series will begin on Friday, May 14.
To kick off the series Red Dirt Rangers will perform that evening at 5:30 p.m. in Laura’s Bandstand on the OSU Botanical Garden event lawn at 3300 W. Sixth Street, in Stillwater. The event is free.
Visitors are asked to wear masks and socially distance when setting up their lawn chairs.
The Botanic Garden underwent some major changes in 2020, including a new paved road offering better access to the venue.
This 100-acre garden is located just west of Stillwater on the north side of Highway 51.
The new road from the south entrance off West Sixth Street leads to a new parking lot located close to Laura’s Bandstand.
“With more than 40,000 people visiting the garden annually, we want to make this space the best it can be,” said Garden Director Lou Anella. “The biggest change right now is one of convenience.
“With the installation of a paved road that leads from the south parking lot directly to a new parking lot at the heart of the garden, visitors will now have an easier time getting into the space, especially those with limited mobility.”
Anella added, “It feels wonderful to be able to start scheduling in-person events once again.
“I think everyone is excited to get back to some sense of normalcy,” he said. “Being outdoors is much safer, so we feel comfortable with being able to offer the concerts again.”
Anella noted that visitors will find the garden offers many more attractions than just the monthly music events.
“We’ve added some new structural elements near the parking lot which create a lot of visual interest right as you pull in,” he said. “The Treewalk Village, a structure consisting of a series of ramps and platforms in the pin oaks just south of the labyrinth, has been expanded and is a great area for kids to play.”
Concert attendees are encouraged to walk through the garden and see where OSU Extension’s television program Oklahoma Gardening is recorded, as well as get some new ideas for their own home gardens.
The Botanic Garden at OSU, set on 100 acres, features walking trails, lush gardens and is a living, multidisciplinary laboratory used by several departments within OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources as well as the OSU Extension.
Anella said he is excited the handicapped access has been greatly improved, making it easier for more people to come enjoy all events offered at the Botanic Garden at OSU.
Stillwater resident Gertie Mulder was happy to learn the concerts were returning to the garden.
“The Botanic Garden is such a great place to visit, and I’ve enjoyed going to the concerts for several years,” Mulder said. “I’m happy to see we’re getting back to some normalcy with the return of events like this. The garden is so beautiful, and I love getting ideas for my landscape.”
The second concert in the series, scheduled for Friday, June 4, will feature local favorite, Steelwind. Plans for the fall concert series will soon be released.
“The Concerts in the Garden series has proven popular for several years and we’re so excited to be able to invite the public back to The Botanic Garden at OSU following the pandemic,” Anella said.
The series is sponsored by OSU’s Office of the President, Allergy Partners of Oklahoma, The Original Hideaway, Kicker and The Botanic Garden at OSU.