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Festival of Trees this weekend

O Tannenbaum!

Posted: November 19, 2009 3:17 p.m.
Updated: November 20, 2009 6:00 a.m.

Close-up of ornaments on a tree at a previous year's festival of trees.

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Is there anything in the world more beautiful than the look of a child on Christmas morning? Is there a moment more magical than when a child sits on Santa's lap and whispers his or her deepest wish into his waiting ear?

Become a child again and kick off the holiday season with the Festival of Trees today, Saturday and Sunday.

The event, which had been scaled back the last few years, has returned to its original format of a three-day family-friendly festival.
Santa will be on hand the entire three days for children to visit and to have his photo snapped.

"Any child can sit on Santa's lap and give Santa his or her wish list," said Festival chairwoman Karen Stevens. "We just ask that if photos are taken there is a donation made to the SCV Boys & Girls Club."

The event will feature more than 40 full size trees, more than 40 tabletop trees and a variety of carefully decorated gingerbread houses in addition to wreaths for purchase.

"We also have brought back the vignettes, so most of the full size trees have presents that go with the tree," said Stevens.
Stevens and her husband, Todd, are chairs of the seventh annual Festival of the Trees to benefit the SCV Boys & Girls Club.

In addition to everything Christmas there will also be a boutique where holiday gifts can be purchased including clothes, jewelry and other gift items.

Karen Stevens said the couple has loved the Festival of Trees since they first attended the event.
"Now my entire house is filled with Christmas trees as we prepare for this year's festival," she said.

The trees have been decorated by more than a dozen different designers and organizations, said Stevens.
"All the trees are very different and unique," she said.

Among the themes will be a "Nightmare Before Christmas" tree, a "Twilight" tree, a Dodgers tree with Dodger Dugout tickets for opening day valued at $2,000, a Los Angeles Lakers Tree with Lakers tickets, a Western tree, a Whoville tree that includes tickets for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical" at the Pantages Theatre and many other theme trees.

In past Festival of Trees the "showpiece tree" has always come from Six Flags Magic Mountain.

"Of course Six Flags Magic Mountain will have a very special tree this year, but they want to keep it a surprise," Stevens said.
Stevens said the "most valuable tree" will most likely be the "Golf Tree."

"This tree comes with a threesome to play golf at some of the most exclusive golf courses in Southern California," said Stevens.
Among the courses are Tournament Players Club, Riviera Country Club, Bel-Air, Sherwood, Valencia and San Gabriel Country Club.
"These are private clubs that you can't normally get into," said Stevens. "This should be a popular item."

Nancy Olmos of Clarice's Cake and Candy Supplies has organized the gingerbread village this year. The carefully decorated homes will be sold at set prices and a few will also be auctioned, said Stevens.

The boutique is also back at this year's Festival of Trees with items priced for everyone to afford according to Stevens.
"We are trying to have something for everyone," she said.

The annual Magic of the Lights Gala will be held Saturday evening where the large trees will be auctioned.
Entertainment for the $75 a ticket gala will include comedian Jackie Flynn.

"This is the first time we've tried a comedian, but he is very popular in the Santa Clarita Valley," said Stevens.

For children the Festival of Trees will offer the Children's Corner where a child can buy a $5 punch card and make four crafts. The crafts include decorating a cookie, making a wreath, rock painting and make a holiday card.

Santa will be at the Festival during all operation hours. The Festival will also feature entertainment every 15 minutes, said Stevens.
"We wanted the community more involved so we have children performing from a variety of groups and organizations and we also have some professional entertainment," she said.

Stevens encouraged everyone to attend Festival of Trees.

"We want everyone to be excited that Festival of Trees is back in its original form," she said. "This is a family-friendly event to kick off the holiday season. It will really get you into the holiday spirit and it is inexpensive family fun."

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