Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is hosting the 6th Annual Garden Faire Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22 and 23, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This free two-day event features regional plant societies, local artists who specialize in garden art, children’s activities and more. The Garden Faire will take place at the picnic area on the west side of Aldine Westfield Road, and is perfect for all ages. “This marvelous family event grows in popularity every year. We look forward to once again welcoming our community for a fun-filled weekend,” said Darrin Duling, Mercer director. The Garden Faire will feature a Kids’ Korner, which is sponsored by The Mercer Society (TMS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. TMS supports Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens and will bring nature-related crafts and other activities to the Kids’ Korner, where “Stan the Train Man” will give free train rides. Crafts at Kid’s Korner include the favorite of making garden hats out of recycled newspaper and colored tissue. When they are fitted, there are bins of decorative stuff for the kids to use to embellish and make each hat unique. They may like pirate style, or camouflage covered with leaves, retro-flower power, or feathers and bows. They can make a great hat to enjoy for the weekend or whenever they are in need of shade. Vendor booths will include garden art, craft groups, and plant societies selling plants. Pet rescue organizations and animal rescue groups adopting Miniature Schnauzers, Beagles and Great Danes are seeking good families who want to provide loving homes for these pets. TMS will also have a booth for membership and gift items sold in The Gift Shoppe during both days of the Garden Faire. The focus of this event is to encourage families to come outside and enjoy the park, nature and a day playing in the shade of the wooded trails. It is a low-tech event with hands on creativity for kids of all ages. Festival participants may bring a picnic or purchase ice cream, snow cones, and lunch from food trucks. This is also a great opportunity to volunteer at Mercer. At Kid’s Korner, Mercer docents and volunteers team up to guide kids and families through the craft projects. Another popular favorite is face painting by a group of artistic volunteers who have the kids and parents lined up. To check out the list of vendors, visit Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, a Harris County Precinct 4 facility under the leadership of Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, is located at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, one mile north of FM 1960. Programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, sex, religion, national origin, or physical ability. Anyone requiring special assistance to participate in any program should contact Mercer at 281-443-8731. Photo: The community is invited to come on out and listen to the breeze in the trees and revel in the shade, while visiting the booths at Garden Faire 2012.

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