Festival of Trees — Celebrating 30 Years!
The annual Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art is my go-to event to kick off the holiday season in Central Florida. For those who like to decorate early, it always occurs the week before Thanksgiving, giving the buyers an opportunity to display their creative finds for visiting family and friends while feasting on that fabulous fried turkey dinner.
Each year the Festival has a different theme. The Art of the Holidays was chosen for the 30th anniversary theme of this popular event. It is always presented by the Council of 101, a group of nearly 300 women who volunteer their time and talents to make this holiday tradition possible. They were founded in 1965 with a vision to further the cultural development and education of the visual arts in Central Florida. Their two main fundraisers, Festival of Trees and Antiques Show, provide much needed financial resources for the Museum.
Upwards of 20,000 people visit the Festival of Trees each year. And since it began three decades ago, more than $5 million dollars has been contributed, making it the major fundraiser for the Museum.
How to Purchase a Festival of Trees Item
While strolling through the various venues of the Festival, you’ll notice that each item is accompanied by a sign like the one pictured above. The sign contains an item number, title of the piece, the name of the donor, name of the designer, and a selling price. When an item has been purchased, a red SOLD sticker will be placed on it. Payment for available items should be made at the sales desk in the Council of 101 Grand Gallery. The item may be picked up immediately after the close of the Festival on Sunday, and during the day on Monday. Arrangements for delivery can be made for the larger trees.
Deck the Halls!
There are three main showcase areas for the Festival of Trees — Deck the Halls, Designer Trees and Vignettes, and Gingerbread Village. In the Deck the Halls area you’ll see stunning displays of unique wreaths and small tabletop trees. I love decorating for Christmas, so I’m always impressed by the level of ingenuity expressed here. Clever imagination and originality abound. A wreath is just a wreath, unless it was conceived by one of the inventive designers at Festival of Trees! They’re constantly coming up with innovative new ways of doing them. Some of the resources and materials they use literally blow my mind. Check out a few of my favorites from Deck the Halls…
Designer Trees and Vignettes — Photo Tour
The one-of-a-kind trees, winterscapes, and vignettes offered in this section are truly brilliant. If you don’t come away inspired, you may want to check your pulse! Even if you choose not to purchase a tree, I guarantee your own creative juices will be flowing by the time you get home.
*TIP… Take lots of photos. Keep them in a digital album and refer back to them year after year. Use them as a starting point to create your own holiday masterpiece. Oftentimes you can improvise, using materials and color schemes more conducive to your home decor, and achieve the same outstanding results.
Plan to linger in this area for a while. There’s usually Christmas music playing softly in the background — sometimes via live musicians or choirs. Allow the sights and sounds of the season to seep into your spirit. After all… it is the most wonderful time of the year!
Your nose knows how to find this area! Just follow the sweet and spicy scent of gingerbread. The awesome aroma permeates an entire section of the Museum. Sponsored by Macy’s, each gingerbread masterpiece is created by local culinary artists and available for purchase. Take a moment to notice the remarkable detail in each one. Here’s seven of my favorites from the 30th Annual Festival of Trees…
Entertaining by Design Drawings
One of my hubby’s favorite parts of the Festival of Trees at Orlando Museum of Art is the opportunity to win a spectacular prize. Patrons of the Festival can purchase tickets for the drawings. They’re reasonably priced at $1 each or 25 for $20. There’s a wide variety of donated items — things like Gift Baskets, Gift Certificates for Dinner, Design Consultation, Getaways, Progressive Wine Dinner, Spa Services, Cocktail Party for 20 People, Shopping Spree, Tablescapes, Designer Jewelry, and Decorated Trees. Choose the one’s that interest you and simply deposit a ticket in the container located by each item. Then, wait for your phone to ring after the close of the Festival. We’re still waiting… but hey, it’s for a great cause, right? Check out a few of this year’s drawings…
Toyland Town and Santa Claus
As with any other place that features fragile displays, great caution must be used if choosing to take young children to the Festival of Trees. If you do, be sure to visit Toyland Town, a special area where children can do crafts, play games, and even join in a scavenger hunt. At select times Santa will be present to receive the wish list for all good little girls and boys! Then your little ones can shop-till-they-drop in the Toyland Shop which is filled with kiddie gifts and great stocking stuffers. (Mom and Dad can visit the Festival Boutique for unique grown-up gifts!)
I highly recommend the Reindeer Romp Children’s Party, a specially ticketed evening event that occurs mid-week during the nine day Festival. Entertainment includes Balloon Artists, Storytellers, Comedy Variety Artists, Crayola Experience, Face Painting, Sing-Alongs, StiltFun, Russian Ballet of Orlando, Photo Booth, and Santa Claus himself! It’s a wonderful holiday party for the entire family.
Festival of Trees Special Events
Each year there are special events happening at the Festival of Trees. The Festival opens with a Tree Lighting Reception followed by a Formal Gala that includes Food, Wine and Spirits, Entertainment, and a Silent Auction.
Additional information regarding admission pricing, parking, special event tickets, senior day, entertainment schedule, photos from prior Festival of Trees, and Museum membership can be found on the Orlando Museum of Art website.
31st Annual Festival of Trees
WHEN: November 11-19, 2017
TIME: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
PRICE: Adults: $15 | Child (3-11): $5
LOCATION: Orlando Museum of Art – 2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803
THEME: The Gift Of The Holidays
PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE: 31st Annual Festival of Trees Tickets
Please Share Your Thoughts
I hope you have been filled with inspiration from the photo tour of the 30th Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art. Please share your thoughts, ask a question, or simply let me know you have visited today by leaving a reply in the comment section below. Hearing from you is the best part of my day!