Opening Night Party
Header photo: Performers at our 2020 “Flower Power” gala. (David Rosen, SlickPix Photography)
A gala and auction benefiting the Arboretum
Washington State Convention Center
For more than 30 years, the Arboretum Foundation has kicked off the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival with its annual Opening Night Party & Auction. Guests enjoy a celebratory dinner, dazzling entertainment, silent and live auctions, and an intimate preview of the Garden Festival’s stunning display gardens. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 festival has been cancelled. We look forward to resuming our close relationship with the festival in 2022.
In the meantime, our 2021 gala Spring Forward! will take place online on March 4. Our events team is planning a dynamic and entertaining virtual gala. Please join us!
All proceeds help fund environmental education, maintenance, and volunteerism at Washington Park Arboretum.
Party guests in hippie garb enjoying the display gardens. (David Rosen, SlickPix Photography)
2020 Opening Night Party Flashback: “Flower Power”
More than 400 guests attended our 32nd annual Opening Night Party and helped us raise over $370,000 for Washington Park Arboretum. A celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the party took inspiration from the vibrant, creative movements of the “Flower Power” era that led to a wave of groundbreaking environmental protection laws in the early 1970s.
Our guests savored an exclusive first-look at the Garden Festival’s stunning displays, including the Arboretum’s Display “Gateway to a Greener Earth” garden, which focused on plant conservation efforts in the park and won multiple show awards. They also enjoyed a champagne reception, live auctions, and a rousing performance of Aquarius—Let the Sunshine In by singers and dancers in full hippie garb.
Featured speaker Hilary Franz, the Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands, discussing the importance of public lands and parks with our party guests. Photo by: David Rosen, SlickPix Photography.
During the dinner and auction program, guest speaker Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, spoke of the importance of defending and preserving our parks and natural areas—including the Arboretum.
Foundation Executive Director Jane Stonecipher and Board President Jason Morse spoke about the vital work that’s happening at the Arboretum, and how our donors and supporters are “creating and protecting a place of extraordinary natural beauty and scientific value that’s accessible to all…and fostering a connection with plants and an appreciation of nature in children and adults, so that they will follow in our footsteps by sustaining these magical 230 acres—and also their own home and community gardens, and their surrounding public lands, and the larger natural environment.”
Read a full report and see more photos on our news blog.
Thanks to Our 2020 Sponsors!
Apr 7, 2021
Visitors Center & Arboretum Shop Now Open! Following a year of pandemic-related closure, the Graham Visitors Center and Arboretum Gift Shop have reopened in a limited capacity. Opening hours for the lobby are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The shop...
Apr 1, 2021
As we communicated in our gala-related emails, we postponed the wine component of Spring Forward! due to a recent update in state licensing rules. The wine auction will now happen as a separate, mini online event from April 19 to 22. It'll feature 13 exciting wine...
Mar 19, 2021
The Arboretum Foundation has received a very generous bequest of over $300,000 from the estate of Barbara Bonjour. One of our hardest working and most cherished volunteers, Barbara passed away in April of last year. You can read her obituary in The Seattle Times. A...