It was empty and abandoned for many years, but once the Village made the commitment to refurbish it, the Pinecrest Gardens Banyan Bowl has flourished with performances ranging from drama to jazz and classical music.
On Friday, Feb. 24, the Banyan Bowl will come alive again when the Community Garden Charitable Fund hosts the sixth annual Soiree in the Gardens featuring Stephen Marley, the son of the late legendary Bob Marley. Stephen has enjoyed success in his own right, playing to sold out concerts around the world and holding a CD nominated for Reggae Album of the Year.
The Garden Fund was founded in 2007 by community activist and master gardener Karen Mashburn who wanted to do something about the poor condition of the newly acquired Parrot Jungle property. It had fallen into disrepair before it was sold to the Village and renamed Pinecrest Gardens and was further damaged by hurricanes and budgetary constraints. Mashburn believed the property had the potential to be a magnificent public garden and that a group of citizens working together could help make that a reality.
Over the years, the Fund has raised thousands of dollars, money used to make significant improvements to the Gardens. Hundreds of orchids now dot the tree canopy; the colonnade section has been cleaned and refreshed; there is a beautiful hidden garden, pathway and seating area into the historic hardwood hammock; Royal Poinciana trees grow near the Community Center; the large tract adjacent to the Gardens terrace has been re-planted; a lush rainforest grotto flourishes in the lower garden; and the outer western perimeter of the Banyan Bowl has been relandscaped. A decorative mosaic pathway soon will be installed in the Hidden Garden.
Soiree guests will be treated to an open bar courtesy of Bacardi USA and Whole Foods Market of Pinecrest, lavish appetizers and dinner will be served by Creative Tastes, a catering company whose chef was a recent contestant on the Top Chef television show; a silent auction will offer artwork and high-end baubles by Maurice’s Jewelers; a four-day cruise courtesy of NCL will be raffled, a mountainous dessert bar will entice all and the Banyan Bowl concert by Stephen Marley will cap the evening.
The full package — with open bar, appetizers, dinner, desserts, silent auction, and concert — is $125 per person; tables of 10 are $1,125, and concert-only guest passes are $40. Festivities begin at 7 p.m. and the concert starts at 9 p.m.
Sponsors include the Village of Pinecrest, Bacardi USA, Whole Foods Market of Pinecrest, NCL Cruise Line, Maurice’s Jewelers, and the Corradino Group. Their support enables the Fund to provide a top notch evening for a reasonable price.
For more information, 305-669-1028.