Annual Saratoga Festival Of Trees Evolves For 2020
Catholic Charities To Limit In-Person Activities & Add New Virtual Experiences
Saratogians can rejoice knowing that the annual Festival of Trees – a dearly-loved holiday tradition and crucial fundraiser for Catholic Charities – will in fact take place this year, running from December 2nd through the 6th at the Saratoga Springs City Center.
While most of 2020’s events have been outright cancelled in the face of the pandemic, Catholic Charities has instead reimagined its traditional format so attendees will be able to safely enjoy the event, both in-person and through various virtual “Santa experiences.”
Eventgoers to this year’s festival will be able to view and buy decorated floor trees, tabletop trees, wreaths, and centerpieces at the Saratoga Springs City Center as usual (tickets are $3-$8 at the door, under 10 are free). In-person attendees must wear masks inside, socially distance, and will be admitted in limited numbers at a time.
Sadly, the preview reception, Breakfast With Santa, Family Day, the holiday store and raffle are all cancelled this year. However, there will be several NEW activities added, including: virtual tree viewing & purchasing, letters from Santa ($3), FaceTime with Santa ($15), and DIY Christmas Cookie Kits ($20). Purchase trees and Santa experiences here.
More than 20 decorated trees will be for sale this year, including:
- I’ll Be Gnome For Christmas (Roohan Realty)
- A Farmhouse Christmas (Saratoga Hospital)
- Sea Shells At The Seashore (Sovern Law, PLLC)
- Island Of The Misfit Toys (Wesley Community)
- Maybe Christmas…Perhaps, Means A Little Bit More -Dr. Seuss (Church of St. Peter)
Anyone interested in viewing or buying trees remotely can do so on the event page during festival hours:
Wed., December 2nd 5PM-7PM
Thu., December 3rd 4PM – 9PM
Fri., December 4th 2PM – 6PM
Sat., December 5th 12PM – 6PM
Sun. December 6th 11AM – 2PM
“The Festival of Trees is the biggest fundraiser and community event of the year for Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties,” said Sister Charla Commins, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties. “With decreased funding and increased need, it is becoming much more difficult to assist the people in our community who have been hit hard in these difficult times.”
In a joint statement released by Sister Charla, Earline Johnson & Bruce O’Connell (Event Chairs), they added, “The world as we know it has changed dramatically since last March. As COVID-19 continues to spread, the future has never felt so unpredictable. The needs of our neighbors are growing dramatically and will continue to do so in the near future. In times like this, we’re reminded of how interconnected we all are. Thank you in advance for supporting the mission of Catholic Charities and the Festival of Trees. Now more than ever, our communities need us, and we need you.”
Through their community service programming and networking with various local organizations in the tri-county community, Catholic Charities responds to the psychological needs of families and individuals of all ages.
Some of their programs include family counseling, Mary’s Haven, mentoring, the Domestic Violence Project, and a Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP).
For more information & donations, visit https://www.classy.org/event/festival-of-trees/e310214.
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