Festival of Trees returns Nov. 26 in South Deerfield

  • Rian Farrell, then 4, front, and Sofia Ruggeri, then 6, put in their raffle tickets for a tree during the 2017 Festival of Trees held at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield. This year’s event will be held at Aromatic Fillers, also in South Deerfield. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Donated prize Christmas trees on display during the 2017 Festival of Trees held at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield. This year’s event will be held at Aromatic Fillers, also in South Deerfield. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Donated prize Christmas trees on display during the 2017 Festival of Trees held at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield. This year’s event will be held at Aromatic Fillers, also in South Deerfield. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 11/3/2021 4:45:59 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — After a year’s hiatus, the Festival of Trees — and the holiday spirit is brings — is returning to Franklin County.

“We’re so excited,” said April Healey, who has coordinated the event since 2016. “We really missed it last year and I think everybody else did, too.”

The event, co-hosted by the Franklin County Rotary Club and the Greenfield Kiwanis Club, will take place at Aromatic Fillers at 253 Greenfield Road in South Deerfield over three weekends, beginning Nov. 26.

Healey said Aromatic Fillers offered to provide the space as a way of giving back to Franklin County. In previous years, the event has been held at Yankee Candle and, prior to its closing, Wilson’s Department Store.

“The space in Aromatic Fillers will be perfect for this event with high ceilings to accommodate some of our more ambitious tree sponsors and also able to accommodate our exciting list of performances scheduled over the course of three weekends,” Healey said.

She said organizers hope to have as many as 100 or more decorated trees sponsored by local businesses, families or individuals, all of which will be raffled off.

“That’s always our goal — to fill our event space with beautiful trees so there are more chances for our visitors to win,” she said. “It also helps us to raise more money for projects and the programs that this will benefit.”

She noted that the last day to reach out about sponsoring a tree is Nov. 15. Anyone interested should email FestivalofTrees2021@gmail.com to receive a registration form.

Healey said she started the Festival of Trees in 2016 simply because she loves the holiday season.

“I feel it’s a great opportunity to bring people together during the season in a positive and joyful way,” she said. “It gives everybody an opportunity to do something good for Franklin County by sponsoring a tree or participating in the raffle to raise funds that we’re distributing back into the communities.”

Previous recipients of money raised through the Festival of Trees include Warm the Children, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter, United Way of Franklin County, Stone Soup Café, Community Action Pioneer Valley and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and North Quabbin.

“We funded over $22,000 in community grants in 2019 when we did our fourth annual,” Healey said. This year, the goal is to raise $30,000.

The event is scheduled to take place over three weekends from Nov. 26 to Dec. 11, with hours on Friday nights from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. At the end of the three-weekend event, on Sunday, Dec. 12, the winner of each tree will be contacted and a time will be scheduled to pick up the tree.

Registration forms to sponsor a tree can be found online at bit.ly/3nTcXwr. Tree sponsors are also asked to fill out a form that will keep them apprised of festival updates. That form can be found at volunteersignup.org/HMWLC.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne




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