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April 13, 2001

Bonfante Gardens Theme Park Sets Opening Date

Gilroy, CA -- After 23 years of planning and development, Michael Bonfante has set the date for opening his highly anticipated, 28-acre Bonfante Gardens Theme Park. The park, horticulturally-inspired and located in Gilroy, California, will welcome the public on June 15th, 2001, which also happens to be Michael Bonfante's 60th birthday.

Bonfante's love of trees and dream of sharing this passion with children will finally become a reality -- what better way to celebrate this milestone birthday than to share your dream with others?

Bonfante Gardens Theme Park will feature 25 one-of-a-kind "circus trees," and 40 rides and attractions highlighted by a 1927 Illions Supreme Carousel, two narrow-gauge steam trains, a 60-foot tall greenhouse, two coasters, a lakeside amphitheater and several theme restaurants and specialty shops.

Capturing the history and agricultural heritage of Santa Clara County in many of its rides and attractions, the park includes such specialty attractions as the "Mushroom Swing," the "Garlic Twirl," and "Quicksilver Express."

The "Mushroom Swing," a 39-foot tall wave swing ride, will accommodate 'big kids' and older children. Designed and engineered by Zierer Manufacturing (Germany), the "Mushroom Swing" has 48 individual seats that swing out during the circular three-minute ride.

The "Garlic Twirl," designed and engineered by D.H. Morgan Manufacturing, Inc. of La Selva Beach, California, is a spinning, family ride for children of all ages. With a capacity of 1200 riders per hour, the "Garlic Twirl" will spin 60 riders in 12 different garlic bulbs for a three-minute ride.

The "Quicksilver Express" mine coaster speeds through a replica of San Jose's historic New Almaden Mine. The "Quicksilver Express" has enough twists and turns to keep hearts pumping in a beautifully-landscaped setting including nearly 600 plants and trees.

Bonfante Gardens will feature 10,000 trees and nearly one-half million plants throughout the park. On the park's main walkway alone, guests will enjoy over 300 mature trees.

Michael Bonfante, former supermarket owner, is the founder and president of Bonfante Gardens and has established the park as a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit community charity. Proceeds from the park will be reinvested in the park and horticultural and beautification projects in local communities.