Jan 19th, 2017

GardenFest Instagram Contest

Announcing the Winning GardenFest Photos!

Congratulations to this year’s ‪GardenFest‬ Instagram contest finalists! We loved pouring through the hundreds (….and hundreds) of entries you submitted and truly enjoyed reliving Dominion GardenFest of Lights through your photos. GardenFest visitors really know how to make some memories — just look at those smiling faces!
It looks like quite a few lovebirds got engaged at GardenFest this year — we had multiple proposal photos submitted.  You captured some of our favorite sights —  the winter sunset over the Conservatory, dogs+lights, = awww! Look closely for a few other surprise “visitors” too.  We could have easily chosen 50 or 100 finalists. They were that good.  For now, here are our top 16.

GardenFest photos from the finalists in our 2016-2017 GardenFest Instagram Contest

Congratulations to our GardenFest Instagram Contest finalists — @adamtlewis @mecshaggy @geoffgreen @lucasnhall @ashleighxvictoria @lucasnhall @ms.sweet.p @fergusandhenri @kng_photo @tjhennessy01 @rachelmcrady @debbieziemski @kds_photo1 @nbc12news @balwearie @nbc12news

So, did any of those strike your fancy? Can you guess which one is this year’s  Grand Prize Winner?

I don’t mean to give too many clues, but we do really love to share photos of people really enjoying the lights and the garden. If you guessed @fergusandhenri  you are right! After we selected Fergus and Henri as our winner, we did a little research and found out that Fergus and Henri are actually Aaron and Lisa, a couple who blog about their adventures at FergusHenri.com.  Aaron and Lisa won a prize package valued at over $300, including a Supernova family membership from our friends over at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Lisa says, “Ginter Botanical Gardens is magical any time of year, but especially at the holidays. We were so excited to bring our son Hunter and his girlfriend Sarah down to show them the lights. This photo is one of many we took of the two of them being ridiculously adorable in one of the coolest holiday spots in RVA! All of us had a great time and we’ll be back next year.”

GardenFest Instagram contest Winner @fergusandhenri

Bloggers @fergusandhenri aka Aaron & Lisa shot this photo of their son and his girlfriend at Dominion GardenFest of Lights. We chose it as our grand prize winner for this year’s Dominion GardenFest of Lights Instagram Contest.

We also have a sweet spot for the playful and young at heart, and couldn’t resist the cuteness of Lucas Hall’s (aka @lucasnhallPokemon Go and GardenFest mashup. (Side note: apparently we are not the only ones who think Pokemon Go and holiday events make a good match).  Capturing those little Dratini on camera is MUCH harder than it looks.

Hall explains, “This was my, then almost 9-month-old, son’s first visit …. While my son was staring joyfully at the unicorn, my phone buzzed to let me know of a nearby Pokemon. I snapped this picture to capture the moment (and the Dratini). Stacie, Malcolm and I look forward to MANY more visits!”

GardenFest Instagram contest second prize lucasnhall

We do have a thing for getting folks outside enjoying the Garden — playing Pokemon or not. Second prize winner @LucasNHall captured a Dratini and a magical moment.

Here are a few of our favorite video submissions too:

#teleidoscope of plants! #lewisginterbotanicalgardens #gardenfest #rva

A video posted by Haille Olimb (@hailvamp) on

Thanks for entering our contest and for sharing your GardenFest photos everyone! We truly enjoyed seeing GardenFest: Living Color through your eyes. Look for three more Instagram contests this spring: #MillionBlooms, #Bflies. Also stay tuned for more information on our Wild Art: A Journey Off-Canvas contest too.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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