Festival of Trees Will Celebrate 20 years

METHUEN, MA (May 6, 2013) – The Festival of Trees, Inc. proudly announces its 20th Emerald Anniversary year of celebration. Over the past two decades, The Festival of Trees has grown to become one of the most visited holiday events in New England as well as the largest contributor to historic preservation throughout the Merrimack Valley and its surrounding communities.

Twenty years ago, the Festival of Trees was begun as a fundraiser to support the restoration of the historic Tenney Gate House in Methuen. A small group of volunteers planned a weekend holiday event at the Nevins Memorial Library ¬– a viewing of 17 decorated Christmas Trees that were raffled off to visitors. By the second year, the event was a community hit and outgrew the space. To accommodate more trees and the growing number of visitors, the Festival moved to the Red Tavern, Masonic Lodge and Tenney Gate House. By 2003, the Festival of Trees had grown from 17 trees to 200 when the Brooks family invited the organization to its spacious quarters at 13 Branch Street in Methuen, which has now become the home of The Festival of Trees.

Twenty years later, the Festival of Trees is the largest Festival in New England and is the model and inspiration for many other Festivals in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. More than 1000 people, businesses and organizations have donated trees and 1500 volunteers have donated their time. The Festival attracts over 27,000 visitors annually from 14 states and over 380 communities who come to view 240 beautifully decorated trees and wreathes. Festival participants include school children of all ages, businesses, organizations and people who annually enjoy the fun of decorating a tree and making an important contribution to the heritage of their communities.

Today, the mission of the Festival of Trees remains historic preservation. Over the last two decades, the Festival has provided over $1.4 million in grants to over 140 preservation projects throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Its commitment to preservation has helped preserve the priceless treasures that shape the landscape of the Merrimack Valley and beyond.

“We started this event with the purpose to restore and preserve our heritage here in Methuen and due to its growth and success over the past 19 years, we are now helping to do the same in many of our surrounding communities,” said Ann Guastaferro, President of the Festival of Trees. “In honor of our 20th Anniversary, we will be hosting special events throughout the year to showcase the work of the Festival and to recognize and give thanks to the community for helping to make the Festival a great success story.”

In celebration of this 20-year milestone, the Festival of Trees has chosen the 20th Anniversary gemstone and Pantone Color of the Year, Emerald Green, as the theme for the celebrations being planned. They include:

An Emerald Evening – An evening of appreciation, recognition and community will take place on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 13 Branch Street, the home of the Festival of Trees. This special event will recognize the beginnings of the Festival, its founders and highlight the many restoration projects it has funded over the past 19 years. The evening will feature a cocktail reception and elegant dinner stations. A multi-media retrospective of this incredible holiday event and the people, organizations and businesses which have contributed to its success will be presented. In addition, there will be a raffle for a chance to win an emerald and diamond necklace generously donated by Charles Beauty Wellness. Tickets are $65.00 and can be purchased online at www.methuenfestivaloftrees.com.

Treasure Hunt – A community wide treasure hunt will kick off on September 1, 2013 and run through the 20th Festival of Trees. Participants can register on the FOT website at www.methuenfestivaloftrees.com and download a treasure map to begin the journey through some of Methuen’s most historic places in search of clues to win a trip to the Emerald Isle –Ireland.

Festival-in-the-Trees Family Day – A family fun day at Methuen’s Greycourt Park will take place on September 7, 2013. This community appreciation day will feature music, food and fun for the entire family.

The Emerald Anniversary Festival of Trees – The 20th Festival of Tress will open on Saturday, November 23, 2013 and will once again feature more than 240 beautiful trees, wreathes and fun events for children. The Festival will begin with the annual “Taste of the Festival” featuring wonderful Merrimack Valley eateries and a signature Chef. In celebration of the Emerald Anniversary, all visitors who purchase tree raffle chances will also be entered into a special drawing for a chance to win a $2,000 emerald ring, which has been donated, by Nazarian Jewelers of Salem, NH, Andover and Newburyport, MA.

For more information, pleases visit www.methuenfestivaloftrees.com.

About the Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees was started as a fundraiser to benefit the last stages of restoration on the historic Tenney Gatehouse in Methuen, MA in 1994. It is a magical event held annually by The Festival of Trees, Inc. to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season. The proceeds from the Festival of Trees provide funding to preserve the heritage and the monuments that make Methuen and the communities of the Merrimack Valley unique. The Festival of Trees has been a catalyst for historical preservation and has contributed over $1.4 million dollars to fund over 140 preservation projects throughout the Merrimack Valley and beyond.