Festival of Trees Celebrates 20 Years of Making Wishes Come True

November 1, 2009
Kennedy Krieger's annual holiday fundraiser kicks-off the holiday season with a 20th birthday bash

(Baltimore, MD) - For the past 20 years, wishes have grown on trees at Kennedy Krieger's premier holiday event, Festival of Trees. This year the annual fundraiser will kick-off the holiday season Friday, November 27 through Sunday, November 29, and everyone from Santa to his elves will be celebrating the event's 20th birthday. Once again, the Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds will transform into a place where towns are made of gingerbread, elves outnumber people, snow never melts, and icicles taste like peppermint-if Santa had a theme park, this would be it!

The largest event of its kind on the East coast, the 20th Annual Festival of Trees will usher in the holiday season with hundreds of trees, wreaths, and gingerbread houses, hourly live entertainment for the entire family, holiday shopping, and SantaLand-the ultimate fun zone for kids. Highlights of the 2009 Festival of Trees include:

  • Celebrate 20 years of Holiday Fun at Festival of Trees

    In honor of Festival of Trees' 20th birthday, Kennedy Krieger will be running special promotions throughout the weekend including:

    • The first 20 attendees each day will get into the event for free
    • On Sunday, the first 20 trees sold will receive free delivery
    • Family activity packs for SantaLand will be available for $20

    Additionally, families can log onto the Festival of Trees website to view the "Top 20 Reasons to Celebrate" and share their number one reason for a chance to win a family four pack of tickets.

  • Snuggle up with Your Family and Hear a Holiday Story from a Legendary Oriole

    On Saturday afternoon, November 28, Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame shortstop, Cal Ripken, Jr. will share his favorite holiday story with Festival of Trees attendees.

  • Come Rock 'n Roll with Milkshake

    The critically acclaimed children's rock band Milkshake will perform twice on Friday, November 27-first at 11:00 a.m., followed by an encore performance at 3:00 p.m. With its authentic rock 'n roll spirit and kid-friendly songs, the concerts will feature all of the group's hits as well as songs from their newest CD, Great Day.

  • Forget the Mall, Festival of Trees has it All!

    Festival of Trees is a one-stop shop for all of your holiday shopping needs. There is something for everyone on your list with more than 100 craft boutiques and a silent auction where bidders can win prizes such as sports memorabilia including an autographed helmet and jersey from Baltimore Raven Joe Flacco, entertainment gift certificates, tickets to a Raven's game, hotel and travel packages, and an exclusive tour of Camden Yards. Additionally, for just $1, attendees can enter the Festival of Trees raffle sweepstakes for a chance to win a 42-inch flat screen TV.

  • Magicians, Dancers, Choirs. Oh my!

    There is never a dull moment at Festival of Trees as every hour families will be entertained by live performances from a variety of acts including magicians, Irish dancers, puppeteers, martial artists, ballet dancers and comedy hypnotist, Matt Davis.

  • Take a Day Trip to the North Pole and Explore SantaLand

    SantaLand theme park, the ultimate fun zone for kids, features activities for children from ages 1 to 92. From "reindeer" pony rides on Donner and Blitzen and a three-hole miniature golf course to a make your own gingerbread house station and a remote control racetrack, families will be entertained for hours with a variety of games and activities. Additionally, families will be able to enjoy carousel rides and endless carnival games, as well as a visit with the big man in red himself-Santa!

Of course Festival of Trees would not be complete without the more than 500 individually themed and decorated trees, wreaths, and gingerbread houses designed by local artists, businesses and community groups. Awards are given to the top designers in various categories and items are sold to raise funds for the patient care, research, special education, and community programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute.

General Admission to the 2009 Festival of Trees is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-12 and seniors. Children 4 and under are free.

Friday, November 27

10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Festival Open to the Public
10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Live Entertainment
11:00 a.m. Milkshake Performance
3:00 p.m. Milkshake Performance

Saturday, November 28

10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Open to the Public
11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Live Entertainment
Afternoon - Time TBD Holiday Story Reading with Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.

Sunday, November 29

10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Open to the Public
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Live Entertainment

For more information about Festival of Trees, the public can call the Festival Line at (443) 923-7300 or visit http://festivaloftrees.kennedykrieger.org. Additionally, learn more and become a fan of Festival of Trees on Facebook by visiting http://www.facebook.com/KennedyKriegerFestivalofTrees.

About Kennedy Krieger Institute

Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD serves more than 13,000 individuals each year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental concerns mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop while pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis. For more information on Kennedy Krieger Institute, visit www.kennedykrieger.org.

Media Contact:

Jamie Watt/Jessie Benson
410.243.3790