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Maclay Gardens State Park welcomes visitors this Friday evening for a Camellia Christmas

Just a few of the hundreds of camellia varieties now in bloom at Maclay Gardens
Friends of Maclay Gardens, Inc.
Just a few of the hundreds of camellia varieties now in bloom at Maclay Gardens

Tallahassee's Maclay Gardens State Park will keep its gates open this Friday evening, Dec. 2 for the 33rd Annual Camellia Christmas celebration. The event is free and features an explosion of seasonal flora.

Friends of Maclay President Marnie George said the sprawling spread of camellias dates back to when the Maclay family bought the property in 1923.

"Camelias are considered the 'Queen of the Winter Flowers' and they're highly prized for their attractive blooms and evergreen foliage. And Maclay Gardens has an incredible collection of over 250 species of camellias in its formal gardens."

Park Manager Matt Bledsoe said the Camelia Christmas happening is this Friday evening.

"The camellias are blooming in the park and (we'll) have everyone come together and enjoy the park in a different way because it's an after-hours event from 6 until 9 p.m. Typically the park closes at sundown, but it'll be open and people can see a different perspective of the park than they normally would."

Bledsoe added Santa will be at the park visitor center from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m. and there will be several live music stages throughout the park to add to the festive atmosphere.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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