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Powell Gardens' staff and guests will come together to wassail the orchards of the Heartland Harvest Garden during the second annual Wassailing & Winter Feast at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.

Wassail, which comes from the Anglo-Saxon greeting “wes hal,” means “be of good health” and is perhaps best known as a wintertime drink of spiced wine or ale. But the tradition of “wassailing” to encourage a productive apple harvest dates back at least to the 1500s. 

Participants will learn a bit more about this tradition before the group moves into the Apple Spiral to sing to the health of the apple trees, scare away the evil spirits and imbibe some “old recipe wassail”—all with a goal of ensuring a more productive harvest for 2014. 

After the outdoor festivities, visitors will return to the warmth of the roaring fireplaces in the Grand Hall for a buffet-style country dinner featuring roast pig, breads by Meadowlark Acres and traditional wassail. The price is $45 per person and space is limited. Make reservations by calling 816-697-2600 x209 or sign up online at powellgardens.org/wassailing.