EXETER —This year, visitors to The Festival of Trees (FOT) will notice a few changes. In an effort to manage the flow of visitors, the committee made the decision to hold the event for two days, December 1 and 2, and to also utilize an online platform to manage both the silent auction and raffle tree ticket sales.
The link to the online auction will be available to bidders when the festival opens on December 1st at 11:00 a.m. and will remain open until December 2 at 8:00 p.m. The auction link will be posted on the FOT website:
www.exeterareacharitablefoundation.org/festivaloftrees, as well as on the FOT Facebook Page, Festival of Trees – Exeter, NH.
As in previous FOT events at the Town Hall, all of the 50 decorated trees will be on display for viewing. But, instead of using paper bidding sheets, all of the bidding for the trees (and Raffle Tree ticket sales) will be done via an online platform. Directions on how to bid on a tree and buy raffle tickets will be available during the event.
“The committee is looking forward to once again, hosting the festival in person and we’re confident that the new online format will provide access to even more people wishing to participate in the 23rd annual Festival of Trees. If they can’t make it in person, and still want to support us, the site can be accessed from home,” said Co-Chair Bonnie Galinski.
All the trees will be posted on the site with corresponding photos and each tree will have a plaque in front of it with a QR code. Visitors can easily use their Smart Phones to directly access the bidding site for each tree. A specific bid or maximum bid can then be placed. If a bid is placed on more than one tree, the bidder will be responsible for accepting any of the trees they bid on and win. An email or text will be sent with updates during the auction and the final winner will be announced at 8:00 p.m. on December 2 when the auction closes. Winners will be notified via email.
Tickets for the Raffle Tree will be available via a separate link on both the FOT Website and FB Page. They will be sold in increments of one for $1.00; six for $5.00; or twelve for $10.00. Quantities of tickets can also be purchased. A random winner will be chosen at 8:00 p.m. on December 2 and notified via email. Thanks to the many area businesses contributing gift certificates, this year’s Raffle Tree is valued at over $2,000.
Printed instructions for accessing the online platform for both tree bidding and Raffle Tree ticket sales will be made available at the FOT event. Committee members will be assisting visitors as well.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Community Children’s Fund (CCF), by providing local families in need with vouchers for warm winter clothing and bedding. Last year, the CCF, under the auspices of the Exeter Area Charitable Foundation, distributed $93,000 in vouchers. Over $35,000 of that total was raised through the Festival of Trees.
For any questions, please contact the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce at 603-772-2411.