The Portland Classical Chinese Garden is kicking off its tenth anniversary year -- which coincidentally falls in 2010 -- with ten days of free admission. From Jan. 2–11, the garden is waiving admission fees (a savings of $8.50 per adult) for all visitors, inviting them to enjoy the authentic Suzhou-style landscape free of charge.
Covering an entire city block in Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown district, the garden was built by 60 artisans from Portland’s sister city of Suzhou, China, who used authentic hand tools to create the elaborate rock pathways and assemble the intricate buildings that surround 8,000-square-foot Lake Zither. Portland’s garden is considered to be the most authentic Chinese garden outside China.
In addition to the ten free admission days, the garden’s tenth anniversary year includes several special events and annual festivals. Among these are Chinese New Year, Feb. 14-28; Festival of Fragrance and Spring Plant Sale, March 19-26; Tiger Time, March 20-28, a week of spring-break activities for families and children; Colorful Kites of China, April 1-30, with kite-making workshops for kids; and Tuesdays by Twilight, an evening concert series, July 6-Aug. 10.
Meanwhile, in January 2010 the garden will transition to using its Chinese name, Lan Su Chinese Garden, reducing usage of the more anglicized Portland Classical Chinese Garden. The change is a move toward emphasizing the garden’s authentic Chinese origins and continuing commitment to provide visitors with a window into Chinese culture, history and thought.