Plans Underway for Festival of Trees

Bill Arnold (Bayside Distributing LLC) picking the winner of the White Claw themed tree at Shooter’s Pub on Dec. 3, 2020. Also pictured are Lisa Lortie (FOT), Karen Drapaniotis (EACF) and Bonnie Galinski, Festival of Trees Co-Chair. (Photo courtesy Christy Utter)

EXETER – The Festival of Trees (FOT) has been one of the most anticipated holiday events in town for over twenty years. Committee members have already been meeting and plans are underway for this year’s festival to be held at the Exeter Town Hall again. However, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the festival will be managed in a different way this year. The event will take place for two days: Wed., December 1, from 11:00-6:00 p.m. and Thurs., December 2, from 11:00- 8:00 p.m. All visitors will be required to wear masks inside the hall, a limited number of people will be admitted entrance throughout the day, and hand sanitizer will be made available. The biggest change will be that all the bidding and purchase of raffle tickets will be done online. This will allow a better traffic flow and an easier way to manage the silent auction.

Jan Russell, co-chair of the FOT, said, “I am certain that, even with these necessary changes in place, the community will be excited to hear that we will be ‘live and in person’ and that they will get to see the full spectacular display of trees again this year.” Last year, the committee opted to hold a smaller online event with only two decorated trees located at local businesses and still raised $36,000.

Instructions to pre-register on the online bidding site will be forthcoming in future press releases and committee members will be updating the FOT Facebook page regularly with new information as it becomes available (Festival of Trees – Exeter, NH).

Registration for Tree Decorating is underway and forms can be accessed through the following link: www.exeterareacharitablefoundation.org/festivaloftrees Decorators can either print out the forms and mail them or can register directly through the site. For additional information, contact the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce at 603-772-2411.

Organizers are currently seeking event Underwriters, as well.

“This year we anticipate that the need will be even greater after so many families were impacted by the pandemic,” said Bonnie Galinski, co-chair of the FOT. “We are hopeful that our event will continue to be as successful as it has been in the past, even with the restrictions we needed to put in place.”

The Community Children’s Fund (CCF), created by the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce, raises funds to provide warm winter clothing and bedding to needy children in eleven local communities. CCF is a duly authorized 501©3 non-profit organization incorporated in the State of New Hampshire under the auspices of the Exeter Area Charitable Foundation. Last year the foundation distributed $93,000 in clothing vouchers.

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