Longwood Gardens debuts $90 million main garden fountain

FRAN MAYE - DIGITAL FIRST MEDIAThe $90 Longwood Gardens Main Fountain Garden got its first public test May 18 with a spectacular water show.
FRAN MAYE - DIGITAL FIRST MEDIAThe $90 Longwood Gardens Main Fountain Garden got its first public test May 18 with a spectacular water show.

On May 27, visitors to Longwood Gardens will be able to see a water show unlike any in the world. But on May 18, a the fountains debuted with a private showing to municipal officials, foundation sponsors, and select others.

The spectacular water show was choreographed to several Beatles songs. The water seemed to dance, with jets lifting the water well over 125 feet in the air. The show even featured fire atop water.

The $90 million project encompassed two years and $90 million in renovations that involved more than 3,000 workers and more than 9,000 cubic yards of concrete.

“The Main Water Fountain is the most significant water garden in North America,” said Paul Redman, CEO of Longwood Gardens. “We have the largest collection of fountains in any garden in North America. The only way you can experience something like this is you go to Versailles (in France) or Villa d’Este (near Rome), to find a garden on this scale and of this quality.”


The fountain features: 1,340 Jets and streams; 30 flame features; 1,389 LEDs andand thousands of attractive plants from all over the world.

Longwood Gardens, which last year had more than 1.3 million visitors, will be much larger, with more than 5,700 feet of new paths and walkways for greater accessibility, including new stairs on the east and west side of the Garden. An elevator will allow guests to access the Fountain Overlook, and a Pumphouse Plaza has been added, café-style seating for up to 80, with spectacular views of the pumps.

Longwood’s “Summer of Spectacle” season runs from May 27 to Sept. 30, and features Main Fountain Garden shows set to choreographed music daily at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m., with additional evening shows at 7 and 9:15 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Hours at Longwood Gardens are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Saturday for illuminated fountain shows. Admission is by timed ticket only. Tickets are $23 for adults, $20 for ages 62 and older, $12 for students, and free for children 4 and younger. Tickets for “Summer of Spectacle” go on sale April 3. For tickets and reservations, visit www.longwoodgardens.org.

About the Author

Fran Maye

Fran Maye is an award-winning journalist and a graduate of Shippensburg University. He and his wife Marianne live in East Marlborough. He enjoys golf and is a 4.0 tennis player. Reach the author at kennettpaper@gmail.com or follow Fran on Twitter: @kennettpaper.