Botanica’s Illuminations is one of Wichita, Kansas’ many traditional crowd-pleasing events this year among the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be safe with the appropriate protocols. It will be set up differently than what fans have come to expect in the past.
Botanica’s Illuminations – Outdoor Holiday Light Display
Illuminations, the outdoor holiday light display that attracts thousands of people to Botanica at 701 Amidon every year. It has found a way to safely continue during the pandemic. It opened Saturday, November 7th, two weeks earlier than its typical Thanksgiving weekend debut. This year, there will be two ways to enjoy it. One is the usual walk-through tour as well as a new 10-minute drive-through piece set up in the main parking lot.
Botanica’s Illumination is Capping Attendance Each Night at Just Under 2,000 People
There may be more time to enjoy the lights of this event unfortunately there will be fewer chances each night. However, Botanic is capping attendance each night at just under 2,000 people to prevent crowds. All of those people will have to buy their tickets in advance. There will be no walk-up sales this year. People who have pre-purchased tickets will have to choose a certain time to arrive to prevent overcrowding.
People should start thinking about their plans for Illuminations right now. Marty Miller, Botanica’s executive director said. The week before Christmas last year, over 8,000 people came out per night. This year, that isn’t impossible as the event is spread out.
One-Way, Walk-Through Tour
The traditional walking tour of the gardens will start on the south side of Botanica. Previously, people also could enter through the main building by the main parking lot but now the lot is shut down. There is a drive-through exhibit.
The smaller gardens with one-way entrances will close this year, Spillman said. Therefore, the route is actually a bit longer. It covers about a mile. It would take the average visitor an hour to an hour and a half to complete, she said.
All-New Drive-Through Tour
There’s a second option at Illuminations this year. It’s a half-mile driving tour that will take about 10 minutes. Tickets for that part of the event cost $20 a carload Sundays through Thursdays. It’s $25 a carload Fridays and Saturdays. You can buy tickets in advance. Therefore, they are for specific times to prevent long lines of cars from forming.
The display has overtaken over Botanica’s main parking lot and features a lighted 240-foot tunnel, a snowflake wall, and a section of more than 40 lighted trees dancing to music.
A Whole New Section to Visit
People who haven’t been to Botanica in a few months will see the addition of the massive new Koch Carousel Gardens. Therefore, the construction was only recently complete.
That area includes a huge new turfed field with a large lighted Christmas tree as its centerpiece. There is a new pavilion with a massive working fireplace. In addition, a stage where live entertainment is set up starting December 1st. Also a large new sleeping troll sculpture.