A&E Highlights: 25th Annual Festival of Trees       

25th Annual Festival of Trees
Methuen, Mass.
Nov. 17 – Dec. 8

The Festival of Trees, a Merrimack Valley holiday tradition, is celebrating its 25th year this November. The glittering trees and wreaths can draw crowds of 30,000 people from towns all over New England. The celebration will boast special events, such as a silver anniversary gala that features singer and actor Michael Amante, a vendors’ fair where you can start your holiday shopping and a special Breakfast with Santa for children. Other scheduled offerings include Senior Sundays, a festival gift shop and a popular cafe. The 25th Anniversary raffle boasts a cash prize of $10,000. 

The Festival of Trees began in 1994, when volunteers looking to raise money to restore the deteriorating Tenney Gate House in Methuen came up with an idea to hold a Christmas fundraiser featuring fully decorated holiday trees. That year, the festival showcased 17 trees and raised $3,100 — enough to save the Tenney Gate House. Since then, the festival, which displays up to 240 trees and wreaths, provides grants to historic preservation projects throughout the Merrimack Valley including structures like Winnekenni Castle, the Edward Searles Estate and the Nevins Library. “People love history, and want to see history in their community preserved,” says Sharon Pollard, founder of the festival. “Without the Festival of Trees providing money to these worthy preservation projects, some of those buildings would not be standing.”

The festival, which takes place in the Office Valley Park in Methuen, is one of the largest in the country. Admission is $10 at the door, and if you want to try your luck winning a tree, raffle tickets are $5 for 26. For more information about the festival, please visit MethuenFestivalOfTrees.com. 

Photo by Kevin Harkins.

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