The New Orleans Botanical Garden at City Park has been transformed for a colorful Chinese festival that opens Feb. 23 and runs through May 1. “China Lights” is a silk sensation with more than 30 structures spread across the garden, including a three-story glowing dragon, a towering pagoda and dozens of dazzling displays created by about 100 artisans and technical staff at Sichuan Tianyu in Zigong, China.

Exhibit hours are 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Tuesday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, May 1, excluding Mondays. Cost is $18 for adults; $12 for children ages 3-12; and those younger than 3 enter free. Tickets are available at the park’s administration building at the Tolmas Center and at the Casino Building gift shop. Adult tickets may be purchased online.

The beautiful exhibit has been enjoyed by thousands of people in Europe and the United States. For information, call (504) 482-4888 or visit www.neworleanscity

Giving Day helps local groups

Local organizations supporting veterans, neighborhoods, HIV/AIDS patients, sexual trauma survivors and children will receive 5 percent of the net sales Wednesday at Whole Foods Market stores in the New Orleans area during a Giving Day program:

Sales from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Arabella Station market at 5600 Magazine St. will benefit VFW Post 8973, which assists veterans with housing, medical and legal affairs. It also offers educational opportunities to young veterans. For more information, visit

Sales from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the market at 300 N. Broad St. will benefit the Brinton Family Health and Healing Center, which benefits people living in the Mid-City neighborhood. For information, visit

Sales from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the market at 3420 Veterans Blvd. will benefit Project Lazarus, which helps people living with HIV/AIDS. For information, visit

Whole Foods Markets in Baton Rouge and Lafayette also are participating in Giving Day. For information, visit

Exhibition extended

Black History Month events are underway around town, including an exhibition that has been extended through Feb. 25 that celebrates the work of local photographer Gus Bennett Jr. at the Isaac Delgado Fine Arts Gallery on the Delgado Community College campus, 615 City Park Ave.

Born in New Orleans, Bennett has documented the lives of the city’s black citizens for more than 25 years. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The public is welcome, and there is no admission charge.

For gallery information, contact Brenda Hanegan at (504) 671-6377 or

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at