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Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Selby Gardens’ Lights in Bloom® Wins National Recognition from USA TODAY for Second Year in a Row


Lights in Bloom® is a repeat winner in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice contest for Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights.

USA TODAY announced that Selby Gardens’ annual holiday light show earned sixth place this year out of the 20 botanical garden light displays across the country that were nominated. The national nominations were selected by an expert editorial panel in November, and the public then voted to produce the top 10 list of winners.

This is the second year in a row and the third time in four years that Lights in Bloom has received this recognition. Last year, it earned the number eight spot on the list.

“Lights in Bloom is a beloved holiday tradition in Sarasota that just gets better each year,” said Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. “Our incredible partner Affairs in the Air never stops looking for new ways to illuminate the Gardens and delight visitors with their creativity. And our Selby Gardens staff—particularly our Events team—works so hard to make this event wonderful. We appreciate everyone who voted for us in this competition and who visit Lights in Bloom during the holidays each year.”

During Lights in Bloom, the gardens and walkways at Selby Gardens’ 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus are set aglow by more than two million lights and adorned with other holiday and tropical decorations. Highlights of this year’s show include an array of colorful string-light trees along the Great Lawn, the gingerbread house-themed display on the façade of the historic Selby House, and a pair of illuminated butterfly wings ideal for photo ops in the Butterfly Garden. Returning favorites include the “Wishing Tree” on which visitors tie colored ribbons representing their personal hopes for 2023 and the Gardens’ signature bromeliad tree (constructed of nearly 800 live bromeliad plants) and “Florida reindeer” (larger-than-life pink flamingos with whimsical lighted antlers).

In addition to the colorful lights, guests may enjoy a range of family-friendly activities plus food and beverages available for purchase, all in Selby Gardens’ world-class bayfront setting.

Tickets for this year’s Lights in Bloom show are selling quickly, so anyone interested in seeing the award-winning display should purchase tickets soon. The event continues on select nights through January 5, though some upcoming nights are sold out. Tickets start at $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers for general admission, with added-value options available. Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended and can be made online here.