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Gardening & More: Get a preview of Night Lights at an upcoming launch party

LIGHT IT UP TONIGHT — View the exhibits at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens in a new light – literally – during Night Lights. A launch party to preview the theatrical illumination will be held Jan. 28. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko.
HAMBURG — Be among the first to see this year’s Night Lights, one of the most popular events at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, located at 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The exhibits are illuminated with theatrical lighting, which gives an entirely different feeling to the plants and architecture.

The launch party will be held from 6 – 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at the Botanical Gardens. Tickets are $15 for members and subscribers to Buffalo Spree, or $20 for the general public. Purchase tickets by visiting the Buffalo Spree website or by calling 783-9119 ext. 2202.

Tickets to the launch party include a cash bar of beer and wine, snacks and entertainment.

Another evening is being hosted for just photographers, from 6 – 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Bring a tripod on this night only.

Photographers love Night Lights because they can get such creative shots. However, the light is dim and they need to use a slow shutter speed, which could result in a blurry photo if they didn’t use a tripod to keep the camera steady. When the exhibits are crowded, people could trip over the tripods, so tripods are banned, except on photographers’ night.

You may bring cameras and monopods on any night.

There are lots of other opportunities to see the lights. Times are 6 – 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 6 – 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The show will run Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, Feb. 5 – 8 and Feb. 12 – 15.

Tickets for these nights and for photographers’ night are $10 for adults; $8 for Botanical Gardens members, seniors and students; $5 for children ages 3 – 12 and free for children 3 and younger. Guest passes and coupons are not valid during Night Lights.

Live entertainment will be featured on certain nights. Spun Out Fire, a group with an act that’s something like baton twirling with fire, will perform from 7 – 9 p.m. on Saturdays, Feb. 1, 8 and 15, outside in front of the gardens.

Bands will perform from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. on certain nights. There is no extra charge for the music. There is no seating, the concerts will be standing room only.

– Thursday, Jan. 30: SlyBoots.

– Saturday, Feb. 1: Sunny Baker.

– Friday, Feb. 7: The Observers.

– Saturday, Feb. 8: Amanda Barton & Bill Ward.

– Friday, Feb. 14: Randle and the Late Night Scandals.

You can purchase tickets at the door, but if you buy them online, you can avoid the lines. If you buy tickets online, use the back door. Botanical Gardens members can also go in the back door.

Do not get to the location too early; the doors will not open until 6 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday events are generally less crowded.

Wear short sleeves under your winter coat; it’s warm in there!

Connie Oswald Stofko is publisher of, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email

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