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'Magic of Air' Lumagination extravaganza transforms Botanical Gardens

Beginning Saturday, brightly colored lights and sound will transform the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens for its annual "Lumagination" extravaganza.

This year, Philip Colarusso of Luminated Landscapes has created the "Magic of Air," with sparkly and shimmering fairy lights, laser beams, floating iridescent silk, colorful kites, a hot air balloon, metallic mobiles and more to engage the imagination.

Highlights include black lights and fuschia lighting used to create a fun house effect in House Five. Students from the University at Buffalo Department of Theatre and Dance created a custom soundscape and put in place original artwork and sculptures in House Four.

In another area of the Botanical Gardens, keen observers may notice the Wicked Witch of the West's unfortunate demise.

There are immersive activities for kids, too. It's best to come early – attendance for the event grew from 4,500 in 2011 to almost 23,000 in 2018, with many visitors tending to wait until the last couple of weekends, said David Swarts, the Botanical Gardens' president.

"Lumagination" opens Saturday and Sunday, and continues Jan. 30-Feb. 2, and Feb. 6-10 and 13-23. Times are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $14 adults, $12 seniors and students, $6 for children 3 to 12. A number of specialty nights are also planned. For more information, call 827-1584 or go to


[Gallery: Lumagination lights up Botanical Gardens]

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