Garland & giving: Festival of Trees

December 03, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

The location is new and the gala is new, but the goal of the Festival of Trees is the same: raise money for the private, nonprofit corporation that supports Washington County Hospital.

Now in its sixth year, the Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for Antietam Healthcare Foundation. The event continues through Saturday at Hager Hall Conference & Event Center in Hagerstown.

The event's highlights include many of its mainstays, such as the Sugar Plum dance, which has already sold out, breakfast with Santa, and decorated trees and wreaths available for purchase via silent auction.

But there are also some new additions, such as the Festival Finale Gala, which replaces the weeknight Preview Holiday Party.

Nicki Brinegar, manager of special events for the Foundation, said the gala will give attendees a chance to put in their final bids on the more than 40 trees and wreaths up for silent auction, when previously, the festival would just quietly close.


Another change, Brinegar said, moved the Festival of Trees to a new venue. Last year's event was held at Robinwood Medical Center.

"It was too small," said Brinegar. "We would sell out events and have to turn people away."

Brinegar said prior Festival of Trees events fetched crowds of 2,500 to 3,000. Also, parking at Robinwood was an issue because of construction.

The hope is that by hosting it at a larger venue with better parking attendance will grow - translating to more funds raised.

If you go ...

WHAT: Sixth annual Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for the Antietam Healthcare Foundation

WHEN: Continues through Saturday, Dec. 5. See schedule below for more details.

WHERE: Hager Hall Conference & Event Center, 901 Dual Highway, Hagerstown

COST: Tickets to the exhibits are available at the door; costs $5 for a single day; $8 for a multi-day ticket. Children and seniors pay $3 for a single day, $5 for a multi-day ticket. Free admission for children 2 or younger.

Tickets to special events include admission to exhibits but must be purchased ahead of time by calling 301-790-8631 or going to http://festi

CONTACT: Call Antietam Healthcare Foundation at 301-790-8631, go to or e-mail .

Schedule of events

Reserve advanced tickets by calling 301-790-8631 or going to

Friday, Dec. 4

Senior Social

Breakfast, lunch, Bingo and other activities for seniors. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Doors open at 8 a.m. Costs $12.

Saturday, Dec. 5

Breakfast with Santa

Take a photo with the man in red. Activities include cookie decorating and storytelling. 8:30 a.m. to noon. Doors open at 8 a.m. $25 for one child and one adult guest; $10 for each additional child.

Festival Finale Gala

Music, dancing, hors d'oeuvres and holiday cocktails at this black-tie optional event. A chance to place a final bid on your favorite trees. 6:30 to 10 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. $50 per person.

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