By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH — The American holiday season, stretching from Thanksgiving to the turn of the New Year, tends to bring out old family traditions, candles and twinkling lights.
McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach will join in the festivities with its annual event, “Holidays at McKee” and extra-special holiday hours, “Nights of Lights.”
From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 20-22, McKee Garden visitors celebrate the season with an island of misfit toys, a snowman, Santa Claus, music from a vintage Belgian street organ, delicate glass sculptures and a G-scale model train.
“‘Holidays at McKee’ is a chance for local residents to gather with family and friends and celebrate the spirit of the holiday season at one of the area’s most historic locations,” said Christine Hobart, executive director of McKee Garden.
“Visitors of all ages are invited to experience this celebration themed around old-fashioned fun,” she said.
During the event, guests will be able to see the nighttime debut of the garden art exhibit, “Frabel Reimagined.”
More than 200 pieces by flamework glass artist Hans Godo Frabel will be on display, including pieces that have never been shown.
This is the second time glass works by this artist have been on display at the garden, said Kelly Susino, marketing director.
Mr. Frabel was born in East Germany in 1941 and trained as a scientific glassblower in West Germany. In the 1960s, when Mr. Frabel was perfecting and becoming more interested in glass craftsmanship glass art was not popular.
Mr. Frabel was one of the first artists to use glass as the media of choice and he is considered a founding father of modern torch work in art.
“Nights of Lights” will be another rare opportunity for guests to explore the garden at night. The three-night event, Dec. 27-29 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., guests can stroll around the glowing pathways and Frabel’s acclaimed sculptures will be illuminated among the lush green plants and trees in the garden.
Mr. Frabel’s works include colored and clear crystal glass works. Some of his other techniques include sandblasting, which gives the works a frosted appearance, and glass painting.
For a limited time, glass ornaments by Mr. Frabel will be available for purchase at the McKee Garden gift shop.
Visitors can also enter a drawing to win a Frabel signature bowl valued at $3,000. Tickets are $5 and will be sold through Jan. 31.
“Frabel Reimagined” will be on display in the garden through April 30.
For both “Holidays at McKee” and “Nights of Lights,” the garden will be open regular business hours until 5 p.m. and will reopen at 6 p.m.
General admission fees apply: $10 adults, $9 seniors, $5 children ages 3-12. Garden members enter free.
For more information, call (772) 794-0601 or visit www.mckeegarden.org.