Things are about to get really FESTIVE at The Gardens’ this spring! Our Annual Gala Fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday, May 6 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., and we’ve compiled a list of our 10 favorite things that make this event so special.
1) See the garden at its best. Every spring, around early May, the thousands of rose blooms in the Cowden Rose Garden go bonkers and put on quite a colorful show. Perfect viewing for a sunny Sunday afternoon stroll.

Joshua Isaacs Photography

2) All food, beverages and entertainment are included in the ticket price. Yep, that’s right. A series of food/beverage stations located around the garden will offer Latin American-inspired appetizers such as ceviche, Cuban sliders, corn and black bean tortilla cups, gaucho-style steak, and tostones, plus dessert, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, live music, dancing, and more.

3) Win a Cancun vacation! All attendees will be entered for a chance to win a vacation certificate for five days and four nights in Cancun, Mexico. The perfect prize for our Latin American-themed event — a south-of-the border vacaction! Hit the links at Laguna Suites Golf & Spa or enjoy cocktails along the coast at Ocean Spa Hotel. (Some restrictions and fees apply.)

4) Caramelized pineapple margaritas “to die for.” Tangy lime, caramelized pineapple and silver anejo tequila put this tasty Mexican cocktail over the top. It’s a special recipe created by catering sponsor, A Loveable Feast, and we can’t wait to try it.
5) Help us engage young children with nature and teach them about the environment. Did you know that The Gardens’ youth education program brings natural and environmental science classes to over 17,000 kids in Contra Costa County each year? Funding for these school programs, on subjects like pollination, geology, composting, seeds, native plants and more, comes in part from money raised at Fiesta and other fundraisers.

6) Your attendance at this event will also make a difference in the garden. Thousands of visitors wander our paths monthly, admiring the garden spaces and taking in the pretty scenery. But all that beauty doesn’t happen by itself. As a nonprofit organization, we not only depend on volunteers to help with pruning and weeding each week, we rely on annual fundraising to provide dollars for purchasing new plants, fixing irrigation issues, and developing new areas of the garden for public enjoyment.

7) Sunday afternoons are perfect for authentic Latin music. Pianist Marco Diaz returns to The Gardens for the second consecutive  year, this time with his larger ensemble, Vission Latina. The authentic salsa band will perform a mix of traditional Cuban classics and contemporary faves. In addition to playing regularly around the Bay Area, their music has been featured in a number of documentary films about Cuba. Perfect sounds to get your hips swaying and toes tapping.

8) Learn to salsa dance under the sun. Professional salsa dancers in costume will be on hand to show you some moves sure to kick the party up a notch.
9) It’s the perfect weekend afternoon getaway, right around the corner. Looking for an easy “stay-cation” experience? Need a break from the kids or grandkids? Escape (virtually) to iconic Latin American cities like Cabo San Lucas, Buenos Aires, San Juan and Havana. Relax in the garden while enjoying the sweet fragrance of fresh flower blossoms, tasty appetizers, margaritas, sounds of piano and conga drums, all without even getting on a plane.

10) Eat good, do good, feel good. At Fiesta Nueva, you’ll get all the amazing event features mentioned above, while also helping the community, and helping The Gardens reach our goals. We depend on your support.
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