Tuesday, January 14, 2014  |   Email   Print

Cleveland Botanical Garden Sets All-Time Attendance Record

Cleveland Botanical Garden attracted more people than ever to its University Circle grounds in 2013, making its 83rd year as a treasured cultural institution one for the history books.

In all, 188,669 people visited the Garden in 2013, marking a 17 percent increase over the prior year’s then-record attendance of 160,000 and the sixth straight year of attendance increases. The Garden’s membership also hit a new high at the close of 2013, counting more than 8,000 Northeast Ohio households among its extended family.

Garden President Natalie Ronayne attributes the milestones, in large part, to the success of two new seasonal celebrations — Big Spring and the holiday spectacular Glow — which aim to attract new audiences, drive attendance and encourage repeat visits by offering guests more immersive experiences.

“It’s really great to see Northeast Ohioans embracing the Garden as relevant to their lives,” Ronayne says. “One of the most appealing things about the Garden is that it can be many different things to many different people – a place of celebration, a place of solace, a place for making new family memories. I love that people are taking advantage of that.”

The seasonal celebrations, which are part of the Garden’s new business plan, both exceeded expectations. The 2nd annual Glow holiday event, which ran for 5½ weeks from late November 2013 through January 5, 2014, attracted more than 42,000 people to the Garden — a 10 percent jump over the inaugural Glow attendance of 38,000. The first Big Spring event, which ran for six weeks in March and April 2013, drew 23,500 people to the Garden — a 59 percent increase over the same period a year earlier when 14,771 people visited.

Ronayne and the Garden’s staff hope the positive attendance trend continues in 2014, and they have big plans for the coming year. Highlights include:

• The 11th annual Orchid Mania exhibition: February 1 - March 9
• Big Spring: March 22 - April 27
• The new Nature Connects exhibit featuring sculptures of LEGO® bricks: May 24 - August 24
• Ripe Fest No. 5, celebrating local food, music and merchants: September 20-21
• Glow: November 28, 2014, through January 4, 2015

Cleveland Botanical Garden, located at 11030 East Boulevard in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood, is an ever-changing urban escape where you’ll find enrichment and inspiration through fabulous gardens, an exotic Glasshouse and enchanting events. We make our community greener and healthier by growing young lives and restoring land throughout the city.

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Cleveland Botanical Garden receives public support through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom O'Konowitz, tokonowitz@cbgarden.org, 216.707.2818

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