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Designer Holiday Decor Now within Reach
Boys & Girls Club's Festival of Trees Gives SCVians a Chance to Decorate and do Good
November, 2006 - Issue #25
So... where are you planning to pick up your Christmas tree this year? Instead of frequenting your usual fine tree purveyor, why not try something a little different this year? Why not try something a lot different.

You can go to a tree farm or (gasp) a discount super store anytime. This year, why not find your tree at a tree festival?

On November 17 to 19, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley Foundation will host its fourth annual Festival of Trees, where the entire community can browse through more than 100 one-of-a-kind Christmas tree creations, all custom-designed by the valley's most sought-after holiday designers.

"The festival is jaw-dropping the first time you see it," says designer Jeanna Crawford, who is the event co-chair along with her father-in-law, Wayne Crawford. "We start the day after Christmas the year before in order to get everything together for something of this scale."

In truth, calling the artists' creations "trees" is a bit of an understatement. The actual tree (which is not live, by the way), merely serves as the canvas. From there, things get interesting.

"Each tree is assembled to be stored upright and is bagged and on wheels so that it's easy to set up year after year. It's a smart purchase and one that will bring joy many years to come."
Have you ever seen a Christmas tree decorated around a USC Trojan football theme? How about a Dodgers, Pirates of the Caribbean or Winnie the Pooh themed tree? Trees at the festival run the gamut from elegant to ultra-modern - from Victorian to Vaudeville, Dickens to Dr. Seuss.

Most of the trees are set in vignettes - themed settings that surround the tree with anything from furniture, trips, luxe beauty lines and six-foot Santas to Western wagons, complete yard displays and 15-foot toy soldiers. It all depends on the tree.

Large 9-foot trees will be auctioned off at the Magic of the Lights Gala on Saturday, November 19 by live auction. On Friday and up until the gala, smaller trees and hundreds of designer table displays, wreaths and even a few Hanukkah-themed items will be available for purchase via silent auction. Crawford says, "Each tree is assembled to be stored upright and is bagged and on wheels so that it's easy to set up year after year. It's a smart purchase and one that will bring joy many years to come." Past tree winners have selected these unique pieces of decor for their homes, offices and bedrooms; many enterprising business owners even purchase trees to use as raffle prizes for the company holiday party.

Proceeds from the event will go to support the local Boys & Girls Club.

In other words, if you're looking for a good tree for a good cause - and a tax break - here's you chance.

The festival isn't just about trees, either.

Each day will feature a host of events, entertainment and of course, food. Bring the kids for the "oohs" and "ahhs" you'll hear when they see the trees in all their splendor, then turn them loose at the Children's Activity Corner or the Teddy Bear Parade and Picnic.

Pictures with Santa will also be available.

"Every year, the place is packed with strollers and families," Crawford says. "Kids are entertained and it's affordable. It's a great kickoff and a wonderful way to get the family into the holiday spirit. And, just as important - the event provides incredibly necessary funds to our local Boys & Girls Club. Every year, thousands of SCV kids have access to this safe harbor that also provides educational, vocational, social and artistic opportunities because of events like Festival that support this awesome organization."

Last year, more than 10,000 local residents made the trek to a large warehouse off of Centre Pointe Parkway in Saugus to take part in the festival. The site of this year's festival has yet to be determined, but you can check the festival's website at www.scvfestivaloftrees.org for more details.

In the meantime, start making plans, and perhaps a little space in your living room for whatever you might be bringing home from the event. The trees range from three to nine feet in height, and usually come with an array of props and scenery.

You might also be tempted by something at the upscale Gift Boutique, the Avenue of Wreaths or the Gingerbread Village; just don't blame event organizers if your diet goes out the window two weeks before Thanksgiving!

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Festival admission is $5 per person 15 and over, $3 per child ages 4 to 14. Children 3 and under are free. Seniors' admission is $3 per person.
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