Holiday Happenings 2019: Festival of Trees returns to Liberty Hall

photo by: John Young

In this file photo from Nov. 29, 2015, Lawrence resident Nilou Vakil puts the finishing touches on a tree for the annual Festival of Trees at Liberty Hall.

Dozens of colorfully decorated trees and wreaths will fill Liberty Hall next week for the annual Festival of Trees.

The festival begins Monday and will feature 50 trees and 24 wreaths, all decorated and donated by members of the Lawrence community. It’s a fundraiser for The Children’s Shelter, a nonprofit that provides temporary residential care, foster care placement and other services for at-risk children.

“My favorite thing is seeing what people come up with,” said Lacee Hanson Newton, development director for The Children’s Shelter. One of her favorites from last year’s show was a tree made out of jingle bells, donated by local children’s nonprofit CASA.

“You can tell people take a lot of pride in (their work), and that really shows through,” she said.

Starting Monday, the trees will be available for viewing at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., for a suggested $5 donation at the door. Then, at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, attendees will have a chance to buy their favorite trees at a live auction. Admission to the auction is $50.

“Last year we had trees that went for several thousand dollars, but we also had trees that went for a couple hundred dollars,” Hanson Newton said.

The trees and wreaths will stay up for viewing until the afternoon of Dec. 8, when they will be delivered to the buyers.

The festival organizers also have some special events planned in the days leading up to the auction.

From 4 to 6 p.m. Monday and 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, attendees can have cookies with Santa. And on Wednesday night, there will be an ugly sweater party and contest from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission to the party is $10.

Those wanting to attend the auction and the party should register in advance online.

Here’s a complete schedule of the viewing hours:

•Monday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

•Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

•Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

•Thursday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

•Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

•Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

•Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.


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