URI, Roger Williams Park Botanical Center to host 5th annual Holidays in the Park, Dec. 6

Event features rare poinsettias, handcrafted decorations, Santa visit

PROVIDENCE — November 25, 2014 – The University of Rhode Island and the Providence Parks & Recreation Department will celebrate the holidays with the fifth annual Holiday in the Park at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Admission and all event activities are free for those who bring a non-perishable food item for the St. Charles Borromeo food pantry in Providence.

“Holiday in the Park has become a staple event in the community, a day everyone anticipates to help kick off the holiday season,” said Vanessa Venturini, extension educator at the URI Outreach Center. “The greenhouses look spectacular and the Botanical Center really comes alive as people interact with our Master Gardener volunteers who have lined up fun and educational activities to keep everyone engaged and smiling.”

The event, which draws hundreds of visitors each year, will feature a display of 23 poinsettia varieties grown by URI Master Gardeners, who will also lead a variety of family-friendly activities and holiday decoration demonstrations. Handmade wreaths will also be available for sale.

The day’s events also include a visit from Santa, food by La Creperie, and music by Two Old Friends. All of the activities will take place within the glass-walled confines of the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, which Venturini calls “Providence’s premier tropical destination.”

The Botanical Center is the largest public indoor display garden in New England, encompassing 12,000 square feet of flowers, rare plants, waterfalls and unique exhibits, including carnivorous plants and towering palm trees.

The URI Outreach Center provides horticultural and environmental programs at the Botanical Center, including gardening classes for adults, such as the monthly Lunch n’ Learn sessions that will launch in 2015, Learning Landscape field trips for elementary school classes, Eco-Exploration Camp for youths age 6-12, and guided tours, among other events.

For more information about the Holidays in the Park event, call the URI Outreach Center at 401-874-2900, visit their website URI Outreach Center or email outreach@uri.edu.