Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July Facebook photo contests

Duke Gardens’ first Facebook photo contest was such a big hit that the Gardens will now make it a monthly feature. The July themes: water lilies and summer scenes.

Hundreds of Gardens enthusiasts joined the Gardens’ new fan page, posting more than 225 photos in six categories to vie for prizes. Others visited the online exhibits of photos to vote or comment on them. Daily page views climbed to 440, its peak so far.

Capturing water lilies should pose no problem for Gardens visitors. The Gardens is once again host to the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society's annual New Waterlily Competition (more info here). You can see the contestants all summer in the fish pond at the foot of the Terrace Gardens, and vote on them at the Gardens or online. And there are yet more lilies in the pond behind the Doris Duke Center.

For prime Facebook contest photo opportunities, consider taking on of the free Water Lily Walks that aquatic plants specialist Tamara Kilbane will lead in July through September. The Gardens will also host a Water Lily Photography Workshop with photographer Jennifer Weinberg on July 18 and 19. For more information on the workshop and walks, see the events link in Facebook (www.facebook.com/dukegardens) or Duke Gardens' education brochure here.

HOW TO ENTER OR VOTE: To enter the photo contest or view the exhibit, join Facebook (it’s free and easy), then go to www.facebook.com/dukegardens, sign up to be a fan and click on “events.” You’ll see two exhibit listings, one for water lilies and one for summer scenes. Click RSVP on the exhibit topic you want and then enter the event page. You can post photos (one per member per category) or simply click “like” on others’ photos to vote for them. Press the “share” button on the event page to tell all your Facebook friends to join and vote.

The contest ends July 31 at 1 p.m. The top vote-getter in each category will win a 2010 wall calendar. Second prize is a DVD about the Gardens’ history. Third prize is a Duke Gardens plant (for pickup only). Top prize winners may pick a lower prize if they prefer. Or all may opt instead for a certificate for 30 percent off a one-day total purchase through 12/31/09 at the Gardens' gift store.

Kilbane and a panel of judges will grant additional awards for their top photo picks.

Please check back for more contests each month. And you can still see the June exhibits by going to the last page under the events tab and clicking "past events."

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