Festival of Trees kicks off a season of light and giving

Kennedy Kreiger Institute to benefit

Family: events, activities

November 27, 2003|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,SUN STAFF

Walk into a winter wonderland this weekend at the Festival of Trees at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. The 14th annual holiday festival benefiting the Kennedy Krieger Institute features uniquely decorated Christmas trees and decorations for show and sale, as well as family activities and entertainment.

The festival kicks off tomorrow at 10 a.m. and runs through 9 p.m. More than 300 decorated trees, wreaths, stockings and gingerbread houses - created by local designers, artists, businesses, florists and community groups - will be on display and for sale, as will handcrafted gifts, including pottery, candles, quilts and pillows from more than 100 vendors.

More than 35,000 visitors are expected to attend this year's festival.

Former governor and current Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and Ravens kicker Matt Stover will take part in a reading of the holiday story How the Grinch Stole Christmas at 6 p.m. tomorrow.

After the reading, Speed & Thro Illusionists will present magic shows at 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m. The duo will present more magic shows Saturday at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Festival hours on Saturday are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Hours on Sunday are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All three days, children can enjoy activities and games, including a moon bounce, speed pitch, carousel, basketball and craft-making. And most importantly, kids can enjoy hourly appearances by Santa Claus.

Throughout the festival, visitors can take part in a silent auction. Items up for bids include four tickets to a Ravens game with tickets to a news conference and a meet-and-greet with Art Modell, and four Ravens gift bags. Other auction items include a trip to Florida with Disney World passes, a basketball autographed by Michael Jordan, spa admission, restaurant and entertainment packages.

A raffle will award two trips to Houston for Super Bowl 2004, with paid round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, two Super Bowl tickets and two spots in the NFL Charities Golf Tournament.

There will be plenty of holiday foods and treats to purchase, as well.

"Festival of Trees" runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow-Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, Cow Palace, 2200 York Road, Timonium. Admission is $8; $4 children and seniors. Call 443-923-7300 for information.

For more family events, see Page 54.

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