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Brookgreen Gardens extends its hours for the summer

To celebrate the coming of summer, Brookgreen Gardens in Myrtle Beach has started staying open until 9 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through Aug. 9.

To entice visitors to stick around after dusk, the gardens is having “Cool Summer Evenings,” which feature music, drama and activities for children.

On Wednesdays, actors from Coastal Carolina University’s theater department will perform excerpts and music from several plays in a small production called “This Wooden O – Shakespeare in the Garden.” It takes place from 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Thursdays and Fridays feature naturalist Jerry Walls from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.; cooking demonstrations at 6 p.m. with chef Carlton Hennigen (for an extra $20 for ages 13 and up and $10 for ages 7-12; make reservations at 235-6016); and performances in the Enchanted Storybook Forest by actors from Conway’s Theater of the Republic, also at 6 p.m.

Fridays also feature “Concerts on the Lawn” with a variety of local bands at 7 p.m. Here’s the lineup:

•  Paul Grimshaw Band, Friday and Aug. 2

• U ‘N’ I Jazz on June 21

•  Lissakeole on June 28

• Denny Hess Trio on July 5

• CCU alumna and “American Idol” finalist Elise Testone on July 12

•  Stirling Bridge on July 19

• TruSol on July 26

• Fabulous SandStations on Aug. 9

“Cool Summer Evenings” are free with garden admission, except as noted above, which is $14 ages 13-64; $12 ages 65 and older; $7 ages 4-12, and is good for seven consecutive days. Call 235-6000 or visit www.brookgreen.org for more information.

From staff reports

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