With the Sunken Gardens and conservatory, 2450 Shelby St., serving as the venue, the gala will kick into high gear when jazz artist Cathy Morris takes the stage at 3:30 p.m., followed by 1960s cover band Free But Not Cheap at 5 p.m. and ’70s classic rock cover band the Filter Kings at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $10 per person, and children ages 12 and under will be admitted free. Tent seating for 10 can be purchased for $200. Tickets are available at www.garfieldparkindy.org and at the gate. Food and beer vendors will be on-site.
Fountain Fest co-chair Linda Simmons said the event will illuminate the park’s Sunken Gardens and amazing lighted fountains. “This event will help support efforts to raise monies for the ongoing maintenance of this jewel in our midst while bringing together people from all over the city to enjoy music and food.”
Designed by urban planner George Kessler, the fountains have long been the centerpiece of the gardens, a symmetrical vista long popular as a scenic backdrop for weddings, concerts other events.
The gardens also feature benches, brick walkways and seasonal flowers. Fish ponds were originally part of the landscape but have disappeared. Once near ruins, the gardens’ future looks rosy with the renewed interest of neighborhood groups and the Friends, which raised $1.2 million last year to preserve the fountains, whose annual maintenance expense is around $38,000, according to park officials.
The gate fee also includes admission to the conservatory, which showcases a rain forest, a 15-foot waterfall, tree frogs, free-flying birds, fish ponds and tropical plants. The facility is probably best known for its spectacular poinsettia show and the Christmas events that are scheduled around it. There are also gardening demonstrations, bulb and flower shows and lectures on horticulture and landscaping. The first conservatory was built in 1915, but by midcentury its condition was so deteriorated that it was replaced.
The park, the city’s oldest recreation center, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to Indy Parks’ only conservatory, sunken garden and arts center.