Every year, for three consecutive years, we have attended Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. This is a unique and beautiful event that is held annually during the month of December.
Thousands of candles are placed on the paths of the open areas of the Garden to create a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere. The event is entertained by a number of stations where performances take place. This year, there were a couple of stations that included stargazing and storytelling.
It starts at 5:30, right at sunset, and ends punctually at 9:30. There are cash bar and snack vendors along the way as well as a couple of dining option. Gertrude’s Restaurant offers an a la carte option and reservations are encouraged. There is also the buffet which is a bit pricey and simple, but very tasty. You can also enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and warm cider available at the drink stations along the garden.
We started the evening with a fun and cheerful bluegrass show by the Arizona Folk Ensemble with members of Run Boy Run. They had an incredible cool vibe and their music was a lot of fun.
My favorite performance every year has been the hand bell ensembles. I am always marveled by the beautiful sounds and robust pieces that are performed by the group, with just one type of instrument. Bells of different sizes are played by the 10 or more member groups to delight us with beautiful seasonal songs.
This year, we were also able to enjoy the Sugar Thieves at the Patio Cafe. They play really nice jazz music which included Tom Waits and Bob Dylan pieces with the beautiful voice of Meridith Moore.
This year, Spanish guitars were played by the Sahnas Brothers. A wonderful performance that ended the night with Hotel California and an On the Road Again tease in the middle.
Not all the stations are the same the whole season, some of them have performers who rotate days. Make sure to check their webpage for the complete calendar in case you are hoping to see a specific artist. Also, buying tickets in advance is highly recommended since most of the nights tend to sell out. Prices this year are adults $25 for Garden Members and $30 for non-members; children $10 for members and $12.50 for general public.
Visit the Desert Botanical Garden’s webpage for more information: www.dbg.org
All photos are owned by Sandra unless otherwise noted.