Enter the enchanting outdoor spaces of Ken and Judy Stones’ historic East Main Street home on June 4 to support one of the city’s most cherished educational resources: Discovery Center.
The 29th annual Secret Garden Party will feature a French theme, “A Stroll by the Seine” with signature cocktails, crafted plates, and a rich array of fine auction items including travel and novel home accessories.
Wedding and event creatives Becca George and Jessie Pinson of Modern Vintage Events will be styling the party which raises funds for the children’s museum’s operating budget.
“We want to recreate the atmosphere of a walk down a boulevard in France with stations that feel like ‘street vendors’ or small cafes with sections of seating that allow guests to tuck in and enjoy their ‘nourriteure et boisson’ (food and drink),” George says. “Guests can stroll through the stations for French inspired cuisine and then make a stop at the boulangerie for macarons and pastries. We imagine music playing from a strolling musician, sketch artists stationed to capture the guests, a flower vendor to hand-craft bouquets, and libations inspired by early 20th century France.”
The evening is highly anticipated after a year of closed events in 2020, due to the Coronavirus. The Secret Garden Party committee, chaired by Kelly Goodman and Maegan Snyder, will also plan features that allow patrons to support the event online.
“After a year of virtual and ‘no-show’ events, we’re excited to see the Secret Garden Party bloom back to life with an in-person party, complete with everything our supporters love about this event including a captivating venue,” says Goodman. “Our auction committee is working hard to create a collection of unique and sought-after trips, experiences, and packages for our live auction. They’ve also been exploring several ways to expand the auction to allow guests who can’t be with us in person to still be able to participate from their homes.”
“For over 34 years, Discovery Center has opened our doors to discovery through hands-on exhibits that educate and engage kids and their grown-ups,” says Discovery Center CEO Tara MacDougall. “The support of the Secret Garden Party is critical for our operations and allows us to continue to update and design new experiences for our guests. We are so excited about these new spaces and exhibits: The Great Outdoors, The Studio, The Science of Music, The Chill Zone and coming soon, a renovated Tot Space! We also have some surprises coming for Nature Play. The funds raised will help ensure that Discovery Center remains accessible to all visitors.”
Secret Garden Events
The Secret Garden Party precedes The Secret Garden Tour, a self-guided walking tour of some of the city’s most intriguing private gardens on June 5. This year’s tour will feature a scavenger hunt element for children to encourage interest and engagement with gardening and agriculture.
The Secret Garden Tea Party for adults and children will be held May 8 at the Discovery Center to kick off the Secret Garden Party season while celebrating the mothers in our community. The event will be outside and there are two ticketed times: 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Breakfast and tea are provided, with craft stations for making flower crowns and fairy gardens.