This year, 15 to 20 businesses and organizations will each sponsor a tree. Once the tree is sponsored, the organization decorates the tree, and they compete to have the best decorated tree, which is voted upon by the community.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to come through and stroll the forest of decorated trees, but also it’s for a good cause, and it helps some local families to have a brighter holiday,” Sheldrick said.
Guests can stop by the Art Gallery beginning Saturday and vote for their favorite trees. Online and paper voting is available at FCAC. The 2022 Fan Favorite was the Purple Monkey Project tree.
“The organizations and businesses that sponsor these trees really make them look beautiful with all of the lights and decorations. Some of the ornaments are handmade, others are vintage, but all of them are a great representation of how the organization celebrates the season,” said Sheldrick. “It’s great to see all of the creativity from these businesses and organizations.”
Following the Festival of Trees, sponsoring organizations can donate their tree to a family of their choosing, or they can work with the Salvation Army to ensure the tree goes to a local family in need.
The City of Fairfield Parks & Recreation has partnered with the Salvation Army on a Giving Tree with a Giving Tree Tag Handout by the Hamilton branch of the Salvation Army in the FCAC lobby. Gift distribution will go to families in need in Hamilton and Fairfield. Gifts have included coats, sneakers, toys, and other needs. Gifts should be returned to the Fairfield Community Arts Center by Dec. 15.
“With the Giving Tree, we partner with the Salvation Army, and part of the reason we do this, is the Fairfield community is such a giving and caring community, and it’s great to see the numbers of families that come in and take a tag, and help local children have a wonderful holiday,” Sheldrick said.
The Giving Tree will have more than 50 gift tags, and the Salvation Army will be handing out additional gift tags during the Parade of Lights. The Salvation Army works with local families in advance of the event, so the tags are for specific items. The gifts do not have to be a set dollar amount, and families can choose a tag from the tree.
The same night of the Festival of Trees opening, which is Saturday, the City of Fairfield will host the Fifth Annual Parade of Lights. Festivities will run from 5- 7 p.m. at Village Green Park. The parade will begin at 6 p.m.
At the conclusion of the parade, there will be a tree-lighting and fireworks at Village Green Park with Fairfield Mayor Mitch Rhodus. Santa will make an appearance and many of the floats will be stationed around Village Green Park on Fairfield Commons Drive following the parade.
How to go
What: Festival of Trees
When: 5-7 p.m. Saturday. The trees will remain on display through Dec. 18
Where: Fairfield Community Arts Center
More info: fairfield-city.org/1061/Festival-of-Trees