Park City Gardens celebrates the holidays with a live nativity scene and art exhibit

A friendly live donkey is one of the attractions of the Park City Gardens Open House, Art Show and Living Nativity scene on Saturday. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the event which will also feature a live violin and piano duo, watercolor artist and free cider.
Park Record File Photo

Park City Gardens owner Sophy Kohler invites the public to spend an afternoon “away in a manger”.

The gardens, home to Park City’s Nursery, will host its annual open house and living nativity scene from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and families can get up close and personal with the live animals, get a custom painted portrait, and even participate in an impromptu wreath and garland lesson in a new greenhouse, Kohler said.

Animals, which in the past included a baby muskox, camel, goats and donkeys, will be provided by Ivie Acres Farm and Petting Zoo, and will be present from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., she said.

“The animals will be hanging out behind our greenhouse, among our Christmas trees, and they’re all friendly,” Kohler said. “Children and families are welcome to touch and in some cases even hold animals. “

Last year, the animal stable included rabbits and little pigs, according to Kohler.

“Ivie Acres loves to bring something new each year, and all animals will have a pet sitter who will be on hand to advise children and families on how they like to be treated,” he said. she declared.

In addition to seeing and petting live animals, families can order a watercolor painting on site by local artist Morgan McCue.

McCue recently moved to Park City from New York City, where she was a full-time artist, Kohler said.

“Besides doing custom work and her own original work, Morgan also runs local summer camps and after-school classes for kids,” she said.

McCue was one of the artists who competed and won the Plein Air Paint Out event at Park City Gardens and Gallery MAR in June, Kohler said.

Children watch pygmy goats at the Park City Garden Open House and Living Nursery in 2018. The animals, provided by Ivie Acres, will return on Saturday at the nursery’s fifth annual live manger.
Park Record File Photo

“Morgan is one of those community driven artists who just introduced themselves, and it was his idea to paint family portraits for us. She can also paint beautiful portraits of pets which can also be great gifts, ”she said.

McCue will be housed in the new greenhouse at Park City Gardens from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and attendees can watch his work while listening to live music performed by violinist Maegan Sparks and pianist Jo Coleman, Kohler said.

“Maegan is a barista in our cafe,” she said. “They will not only be playing Christmas music, but also classics and songs from the Great American Songbook by (Frank) Sinatra and others. We are delighted to have them installed in the greenhouse.

Teams put the finishing touches to the new greenhouse at Park City Gardens in late summer, and Kohler said it was the perfect place for the public to watch his decorators create wreaths and garlands during the holiday season.

“We used to do these backstage decorations due to space limitations, but the new greenhouse now allows us to create in the public eye,” she said. “People will be able to come in and watch our employees at work, and maybe even have an impromptu lesson. “

Park City Gardens will also be setting up a gallery of local artisans’ work in its shop on Saturday’s open house, Kohler said.

“We will have works from local candle makers, painters, stained glass, glassmakers and sculptors,” she said. “We have so much talent in our community, so it will be great for us to showcase them. “

The refreshments will include free cider and small samples of new winter drinks, created by the employees of the Park City Gardens cafe, Kohler said.

Children and families will have the opportunity to see and pet a live camel during the Park City Gardens Open Day, Art Exhibition and Living Nativity scene on Saturday.
Photo by Sophie Kohler

Parking, as in the past, is free, she said.

“We have space in the north side of the gardens that people are familiar with, and we also use our parking lot on the south side,” Kohler said. “You enter this lot through the greenhouse and exit it on the other side of the cafe.”

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Park City Gardens Living Nativity scene, and Kohler is happy to have the chance to continue to host it.

“Customers have reached out to us this summer to see if we will still be showcasing the feeder live,” she said. “They tell us they’re busy doing winter plans and wanted to make sure they were there for that. It’s so important to me that people make us part of their holiday traditions.

Dora W. Clawson