"Santa's Theme Park" Comes to Life at Kennedy Krieger's Annual Festival of Trees

November 10, 2005
Largest Holiday Themed Event in the Mid-Atlantic Overflows with Fun Events and Activities for the Entire Family

(Baltimore, MD) - If Santa had a theme park, it would be the 16th annual Kennedy Krieger Institute's Festival of Trees - a three-day extravaganza of festive forests, gingerbread towns, miles of toy train track, craft boutiques, tasty holiday treats and activities for "kids from one to ninety-two."

Taking place Friday, November 25th - Sunday, November 27th at the Timonium Fairgrounds, the event features hourly entertainment that could make even the Grinch smile. Highlights of this year's Festival include:

  • A Holiday "Kick Off" with Baltimore Raven Matt Stover
    Matt will host a special kicking clinic for young. Fans. And, he'll be joined by fellow Raven Anthony Weaver to read holiday stories to the kids.
  • NASCAR Mania
    Attendees can get up close to two Busch Series NASCAR racecars, #84 Dion Ciccarelli and #52 Donnie Neuenberger. Plus, guests can climb inside a Monster Car and bring their shopping lists to the special trailer full of NASCAR memorabilia and merchandise. Driver Dion Ciccarelli (originally of Severn, MD) will be on-site signing autographs during festival hours on Saturday.
  • Performances by Milkshake
    Baltimore magazine's "Best Band for Kids" will perform their upbeat inspirational rock songs, appropriate for the whole family.
  • A Huge Toy Train Garden
    Over 500 feet of track make up the expanded 40' x 40' train garden. Three continuously running trains and a trolley line weave their way through natural garden vegetation, a twelve-foot long wooden trestle bridge, and a running stream and pond complete with live goldfish. Trains include turn-of-the-century model steam engines (including Ma & Pa railroad replicas), passenger trains of early steam, modern diesel and electric bullet styles, fancifully themed trains and freight trains with multiple engines and up to 50 cars.
  • A Holiday Coloring Mural for Kids
    Renowned illustrator Bonnie Matthews has created a life-size merry mural that every child can help fill with the colors of the season.
  • SantaLand - Largest kids fun zone ever!
    The ultimate fun zone exclusively for kids is larger than ever this year, with a moon bounce, magical carousel, carnival games, craft-making stations and more.

Of course, the Festival of Trees would not be complete without the beautiful holiday décor for which it has become known; over 300 themed trees, wreaths, and gingerbread houses designed by local artists, businesses and community groups. Awards are given to the top designers in various categories and the items are sold to benefit the research, treatment and educational programs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Visitors can make a list, check it twice and get a jump on their holiday shopping for family and friends from the more than 100 craft retailers. Or, they can bid on silent auction items such as a four-day Carnival cruise in the Owner's Suite, round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines, a Comcast suite for the University of Maryland/Duke basketball game, Ravens collectibles and many other incredible dining, entertainment and luxury packages.

General Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-12 and seniors. Children 4-years-old and under are free. The public can call 443-923-7300 or visit www.kennedykrieger.org for more information on Festival of Trees.

Schedule of Events:

Friday, November 25th

10:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. Festival Open to the Public
10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Live Entertainment
11:00 a.m. Milkshake performs
5:30 p.m. Matt Stover's Kicking Clinic
6:30 p.m. Matt Stover's holiday book reading

Saturday, November 26th

10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Open to Public
11:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Live Entertainment

Sunday, November 27th

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

About Kennedy Krieger Institute:

Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders of the brain and spinal cord, Kennedy Krieger Institute serves more than 12,000 children each year through inpatient and day treatment programs, 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 and pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis.

Media Contact Inquiries:

Elise Babbitt
(410) 804-5375
babbitte@kennedykrieger.org

Susan Goodell
(410) 243-3790
susan@profiles.com