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Fall Foliage Festival
October 20 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Fall Foliage Festival is back and better than ever! The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden is teaming up with Pacific Bonsai Museum to host a week-long event bringing together everyone’s favorite autumn things. Fall color will be in full splendor, with rich splashes of golds, reds, and oranges throughout the RSBG’s 22-acre garden, and among the foliage of Pacific Bonsai Museum’s world-class bonsai collection.
Best of all? Admission will be free all week!
Pre-Carved Pumpkin Contest: On October 20, between 10am and noon, the public is encouraged to bring their original, pre-carved pumpkins to enter in a free competition. Prize winners will be announced at 1pm and selected by visitor votes – 1st place receives $100 and a one-year Family Membership to RSBG, 2nd place receives $50 and a one-year Individual Membership to RSBG, and 3rd place receives a one-year Individual Membership to RSBG.
Opening Day (October 20) features artist-led demonstrations in the Visitor Center. Tacoma jeweler Melanie Brauner of VERSO will demonstrate her nature-inspired wearable art made from waterproof handmade paper and metal. Botanical artist Margaret Trent will demonstrate her botanically-accurate drawings and sell original works of art. Trent’s work has been exhibited at Bloedel Reserve, the Clymer Museum and Gallery, and the Washington State Convention Center (see Agapetes image on right). These featured artists will sell their locally made, one-of-a-kind pieces on Opening Day only. The RSBG will also host renowned plant vendors Windcliff Plants of Heronswood garden, as well as Bryan’s Rare Japanese Maples and Asia Pacific Gardening.
Visit a fall-themed photo station to snap a picture with friends and family, enjoy hot apple cider, purchase fall-themed pastries from Federal Way’s French-style Ma Boulangerie bakery, and participate in fall-themed art-making activities. Pacific Bonsai Museum docents will be available from 11am-3pm at the Exploration Station where you can learn about the care of bonsai, see tools of the trade, and try your hand at wiring.
Food Drive Benefiting Multi Service Center of Federal Way:
Throughout the Festival, visitors are asked to bring non-perishable foods to support our local community. “This free event is a way of saying thank you to our community,” says Britt Board, Program and Outreach Manager of the RSBG, adding, “We hope that visitors will pay it forward by supporting the Multi Service Center and the many families in Federal Way that are experiencing food insecurity.”
Plant and Pumpkin Sales
- Fall is the perfect time to plant rhodies. The RSBG Plant Shop will feature rhododendrons and companion plants up to 50% off. Staff will be available plant care tips. (Throughout Festival)
- The RSBG is excited to sell pumpkins for the first time. Peruse a selection of sizes and species for pumpkin carving and fall décor. (Throughout Festival)
- Bryan’s Rare Japanese Maple trees will be for sale. (October 20)
- Windcliff Plants will vend rare finds. (October 20)
- Bonsai will be on sale at Asia-Pacific Gardening’s Fall Foliage Festival Pop-up Shop. (October 20 and 21)