| Photos by Heidi M. Pascual
On July 31, hundreds of Madisonians and guests from many parts of Wisconsin and other states celebrated Thai culture at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens' Royal Thai Pavilion.This special place, which is a gift from the government of Thailand and the Thai Chapter of the wisconsin Alumni Association to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, formally opened in 2002. Since then, Madisonians and people from neighboring cities and even other states have enjoyed the beauty of the pavilion that blended perfectly well with Olbrich Gardens' landscape. The pavilion is surrounded by a Midwestern-style tropical garden that mixed a few tropical plants with many Wisconsin-hardy plants. There is an ornamental bridge, a walkway that represents a snake, water jars, and clipped tree art called mai dat.
The Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute of Chicago graciously provided musical performances and original martial art forms that reflected the genuine expression of a cultural tradition uniquely Thai.