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Fairchild Ramble: A Farmer’s Market, Art Fair and Music Festival In One Place November 13th, 2012

Dutch Waterpoorter Street Organ at Fairchild Garden Ramble

This weekend, Fairchild Tropic Botanical Gardens is hosting their 72nd Annual Ramble. There is quite literally something for everyone there—and it really does bring out everyone, from cotton candy loving kids to bromeliad-collecting adults. The yearly festival, set in the expansive garden, makes for the perfect, leisurely day outdoors.

If you go, it’s always a good idea to bring cash, as there are numerous vendors, and not all accept credit card. And while you can have a great day listening to live music and taking in the surroundings without spending a dime, there are tempting purchases abound. It’s their biggest plant sale of the year, so those of you with a green thumb might find yourself inclined to bring some of the garden’s splendor home. There’s an entire farmer’s market that draws farmers from around the state. Once you’ve filled your bags with produce, there’s still the crafts: gorgeous woodworking, handcrafted jewelry, mosaic pots and more. If you’re not exhausted, there are antiques and books set up indoors for purchase.

No outdoor festival would be complete without great food and music. It can be a bit dizzying deciding on lunch—there are vendors offering everything from Caribbean conch to Peruvian ceviche, with tons of other world cuisines between. Kids (and sweet-toothed adults) will love the dessert options, especially local artisanal sorbet, frozen chocolate-covered bananas and traditional cinnamon horn rolls. Tropical music will be played throughout the day—think steel drums and samba.

If you can find the time, check out the garden’s impressive art collection. They’ve recently installed Zimbabwean stone sculptures. Yoko Ono has a fun “wish tree,” and Dale Chihuly’s famous glass sculptures are scattered throughout.

The Ramble goes on all weekend, from Friday to Sunday. It’s free for members—non-members can get a discount by biking, walking or taking public transportation. For more information, visit