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Director of Marketing & Public Relations


April 25, 2013

Bok Tower Celebrates Cinco de Mayo
with Latin-themed Carillon Music, Trumpets, Taco Truck


LAKE WALES, Fla.—Bok Tower Gardens hosts a new Cinco de Mayo celebration on Sunday, May 5 from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m., featuring a sunset carillon concert at 6:30 p.m. with Latin-themed music and the premiere of a carillon duet with a six-piece trumpet ensemble. Authentic Mexican food and drinks will be available, and admission is just $5 per carload.

Singing Tower Carillonneur Geert D’hollander first introduced the idea of performing in duet with other instruments during the most recent Easter Sunrise Service March 31 when he played alongside a brass quintet. These performances mark the first time in the Gardens’ 84-year history this has ever been attempted.

“I’ve been doing this for years on my carillons in Belgium and Berkeley, CA,” D’hollander said.  “I wanted to do something new this year, and given my past experience and the possibilities here in the Tower, I thought this formula was perfect.”

Some of the Latin-themed arrangements include: Contigo en la Distancia, Cielito Lindo, La Cucaracha, La Bamba, Que Rico el Mambo, and Mexican Hat Dance.

Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner or can purchase authentic Mexican food from the Taco Express Taqueria Mexicana food truck that will be on hand.  In addition to standard refreshments, the Gardens’ Hilltop Café will offer event-themed beverages for sale including Corona, Modelo, Dos Equis, and frozen margaritas.

Jennifer Beam, Director of Visitor Services and Programs at the Gardens, says holding more cultural- and community-based events is a way to remain relevant and accessible. “Bok Tower Gardens was Edward Bok’s gift to all Americans, so we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy them,” Beam said. “Hosting inexpensive, cultural-based events for our community is one of the ways we can do that, and with Geert’s musical talents on the carillon almost anything is possible.”

Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, although other parts of the country also take part in the celebration. Traditions include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla, and other festive events. For many Mexicans, however, May 5 is a day like any other.  It is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks and stores remain open.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations. Today, revelers mark the occasion with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods such as tacos.

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Photo caption: The Lake Wales Tower Brass Ensemble performing with Carillonneur Geert D'hollander at Bok Tower Gardens. In back from left to righ:t Ron Wilder, Ken Faulk, Mark Huntington, Susie Bell, Franz Streitwieser, and Dave Nayln. In front: Geert D'hollander.

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About Bok Tower Gardens:
Voted Florida’s best garden, Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark located 10 miles from LEGOLAND Florida, 55 miles southwest of Orlando and 60 miles east of Tampa near Lake Wales in Central Florida’s rolling hills of citrus. Open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Visitor Center, Café and Gift Shop are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free. LEGOLAND ticket holders will receive free admission for children under 12. For more information, contact Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales FL 33853; 863-676-1408 or visit


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