'Boddy's Big Backyard' Events at Descanso

Southland families will say goodbye to summer on Labor Day Weekend, and many will do it in style at Descanso Gardens. Two days of activities, Sept. 3 and 4, will include a Sunday afternoon concert and, on Labor Day Monday, an early-evening community picnic at 'Boddy's Big Backyard.'

: Celtic Spring in Concert — 1 to 2 p.m.

Sun., Sept. 3

Sounds of Celtic Spring, the "Von Trapp Family of Celtic Music," will be presented from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, at the Under the Oaks Theater. Celtic Spring is a family of children performing spirited reels, jigs and hornpipes with fiddles and dance shoes, and their father who plays the bodhran.

This concert, re-scheduled in late July when temperatures hit record highs, is free with Gardens admission and is sure to set a festive tone for the holiday weekend.

: 'Boddy's Big Backyard' Picnic — 4 to 7 p.m.

Mon., Sept. 4

'Boddy's Big Backyard' will be open to picnicking families from 4 to 7 p.m. Labor Day Monday, Sept. 4. This casual event, filled with live swing music of the 1930s and '40s, will reflect Descanso founder E. Manchester Boddy's era and his fondness for picnics.

This party is one more chance for families to relax together before busy schedules of autumn begin. It also is a rare opportunity to bring picnics into the Gardens. If they prefer, visitors may buy picnic food when they arrive.

A special treat for children will be a chance to visit the Reptile Rod, a vintage 1947 Ford, to check out friendly creatures and learn about their habitat at Descanso. Visitors can ride the Enchanted Railroad ($2 a ticket) and visit the Boddy House Historical Exhibit and Art Gallery. They also may join a history walk and talk from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. to learn about the early days — a time before Descanso became a public botanic garden and was Boddy's private estate, flower plantation and working ranch.

Whether families bring their own picnics, or choose from Patina's special menu, they'll surely want to buy a Black Cow (root beer float) or slice of apple pie to evoke memories of days gone by. Food available for purchase includes an enticing variety of sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, beverages and chips. Prices range from $1 for chips or corn bread to $8.50 for a chicken salad sandwich. The entire picnic menu is posted on www.descansogardens.org

Lively tunes from the 1930s and '40s, performed by the Verdugo Swing Society from 5 to 7 p.m., will put everyone in the right mood to dance into autumn.

All is free with Gardens admission except food, Gift Shop purchases and Enchanted Railroad tickets.

Descanso Gardens is at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge.The Gardens are open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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