Stepping Out

A whimsical celebration of the summer solstice

Summer beckons at Old Westbury Gardens


Summer arrives none too soon, with memories of our unpleasant winter still in the background. Now at long last, that fleeting time of year that is summer lifts our spirits as we can finally banish those lingering winter memories. The beach always beckons, as does the latest summer flick, but there’s so much more to take in.
Visit Old Westbury Gardens this weekend, June 20-22, for a rich and lively celebration that is filled with joy, dubbed “Midsummer Weekend,” which brings a touch of Northern European summer solstice festival traditions to our area.
Old Westbury Gardens’ festivities are inspired by the magical tale of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” as interpreted from photographs of the Gardens’ founder Peggie Phipps Boegner and her cousins dressed up in costumes from a family production of the play, combined with elements of traditional European summer solstice
The lush estate is transformed once again as music and dance blend seamlessly into the appealing decorated gardens, already bursting with seasonal color. Visitors will become captivated by totally different perspectives of the grounds, especially on Saturday, when the gardens are illuminated by lanterns and candles as the grounds become inhabited by magical fairies as the day turns to the twilight of the evening. The lush gardens are decorated with wreaths, garlands, and other festive floral arrangements, as Old Westbury Gardens’ horticulture staff puts their unique twist on a summer solstice festival combined with some Shakespeare-esque whimsy.
“It’s great fun to see the many stoic-like statues take on a different look, when dressed up in colorful garlands,” says Vince Kish. Old Westbury Gardens spokesman. “When just about any kind of event, exhibit, or performance is presented at Old Westbury Gardens, the quality of that event is immediately enhanced by this incomparable environment. But some events seem to work particularly well here, blending wonderfully with the beauty exuded by these 200 bucolic acres.

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