Design New England

A Party for the Parks

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Jonathon Soroff, a 2014 Hats Galore judge sports an elaborate hat complete with peacock feathers and flowers.

By Allison Nekola

Sun rays coruscate off bronze skin onto full-figured foliage and century-old statues — to spend summer anywhere other than Boston is a questionable decision. The Boston Parks and Recreation Department embraces summer in the city with a full schedule of free art, fitness, and science programs along with outdoor concerts and performances. The annual Mayor’s Rose Garden Party, the Parks Department’s major fundraiser, makes much of this possible.

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A bouquet of flowers welcomes guests at the entrance of the 2014 Mayor’s Rose Garden Party.

Now in its 19th year, the celebration at the city’s magnificent Kelleher Rose Garden in the Back Bay Fens will be hosted by Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Ms. Lorrie Higgins on June 18, the height of rose season, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Guests are invited to stroll the lush garden, sip complimentary libations underneath Victorian arches abundant with delicate petals, and take in the sweet aroma of 3,000 rose bushes at peak blossom.
A highlight of the evening is the vivacious annual hat contest, in which men and women wearing fascinators and panamas, wide-brimmed straws and decorated baseball caps vie for recognition in several categories. All the while, there is live entertainment and en plein air painting demonstrations.

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The en plein air painting demonstration gave guests an up close and personal look at the artistry.

There is also live and silent auctions that tempt with prizes such as the meat lover’s delight that includes dinner for two at 12 of Boston’s top steakhouses, or a private tour from Boston Duck Tours followed by a two-hour reception for up to 24 people at the Lenox hotel. Red Sox tickets (some with parking!), theater tickets, and getaway vacations are also on the bidding table.

Mayor Martin Walsh stands beside Mary Walsh and guest upon his arrival.

Garden party tickets, $150, and more information are available at or by calling 617-635-4032.
Great design is always at your fingertips! Read Design New England’s May/June 2015 issue online!

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