The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY)

ANNUAL FUNDRAISER

2020 Festival of Trees to take place next month

- By Lauren Halligan lhalligan@digitalfir­stmedia. com reporter

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. » Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties invites the local community to unwrap the magic of the holiday season at their 25th annual Festival of Trees fundraiser, a kickoff to the holiday season.

With COVID-19 precaution­s in place, the Festival will once again showcase beautifull­y decorated trees, wreaths, and other holiday and gift items for purchase.

The 2020Festiv­al of Trees is scheduled for the first week of December at the Saratoga Springs City Center, located at 522 Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs. The event’s hours are 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 4 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6.

A virtual component has been added to the festival this year too. The community will also be able to view and purchase trees online.

Though the festival will go on without traditiona­l group activities such as Breakfast with Santa, instead various “Santa Experience­s” are available for interested families. Children can receive a letter or video call from Santa or parents can purchase a DIY Christmas Cookie Kit to decorate at home.

Festival proceeds will benefit the programs of Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties, an agency of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany.

This organizati­on has

has, for 25 years, generously supported these efforts. The Festival is hoping that by providing this curtailed celebratio­n of the 2020Holida­y Season, the tradition of support and generosity will continue.”

The 25th anniversar­y Festival of Trees chairperso­n Earline Johnson added, “In continuing the wonderful tradition of the Festival as a premier Holiday activity, the Saratoga Springs City Center will once again be filled with beautifull­y decorated trees, wreaths and other decoration­s that can be viewed through the Center’swindows onBroadway, and inside on a limited, socially distanced basis.

All of the items will be available for purchase in person and, new this year, trees will also be available online.”

Catholic Charities Board Chair, Bruce O’Connell said in the release, “This year, with the safety of the public in mind, the 25th anniversar­y of the Saratoga Festival of Trees will look a little different in that the large group Festival activities­will be curtailed. Therefore, the traditiona­l Breakfast with Santa, the Festival Gala on opening night, and other large group activities within the annual Festival are not being scheduled.”

Vincent Colonno, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany added, “The Festival of Trees is an incredibly important event this year. It not only provides vital support to the people of Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties, but it also provides a safe way for families to celebrate the Christmas and holiday season. I am grateful to the Festival Committee members and staff who’ve worked hard to make this event come together.”

All attendees will be asked to wear a mask and socially distance, with limited numbers safely allowed in the Tree Display Roomat one time. Tickets are $8 per person, $5 for Seniors, $3 for ages 10 to 18 and free for anyone 10 or younger when accompanie­d by an adult.

Further details about this year’s festival are available by calling 518- 587- 5000 or visiting https://give.classy.org/festivaltr­ees.

 ?? LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO ?? An eventgoer shops in the Holiday Shoppe at the 24th annual Saratoga Festival of Trees in 2019.
LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO An eventgoer shops in the Holiday Shoppe at the 24th annual Saratoga Festival of Trees in 2019.
 ?? LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO ?? A tree is decorated with stuffed animals at the 24th annual Saratoga Festival of Trees in 2019.
LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO A tree is decorated with stuffed animals at the 24th annual Saratoga Festival of Trees in 2019.
 ?? LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO ?? An attendee admires tabletop decoration­s at the
2019 Saratoga Festival of Trees at the Saratoga Springs City Center.
LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO An attendee admires tabletop decoration­s at the 2019 Saratoga Festival of Trees at the Saratoga Springs City Center.
 ?? LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO ?? A decorated tree is displayed at the 24th annual Saratoga Festival of Trees in 2019.
LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO A decorated tree is displayed at the 24th annual Saratoga Festival of Trees in 2019.
 ?? LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO ?? A colorful tree at the 2019Sarato­ga Festival of Trees features old fashioned tinsel and bubble lights.
LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO A colorful tree at the 2019Sarato­ga Festival of Trees features old fashioned tinsel and bubble lights.
 ?? LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO ?? A bird decorated sits in a tree displayed at the 2019 Saratoga Festival of Trees.
LAUREN HALLIGAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO A bird decorated sits in a tree displayed at the 2019 Saratoga Festival of Trees.

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