Festival of Trees returns for 19th year (photos)

SPRINGFIELD – ‘Tis the season and yes it is.

The annual Festival of Trees fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield will be held Nov. 29 – Dec. 15. at the MassMutual Center for the second time in its 19-year history.

For years the event was held at Tower Square and has since moved into a larger venue.

The 17-day event raised $230,000 last year according to Vincent Borello, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield.

A private showing was held at the MassMutual Center on Sunday for donors and sponsors and their family with more than 400 visitors in attendance.

Santa and Mrs. Claus were on hand despite their busy schedule. T

he Michelle Brooks-Thompson Music Entertainment provided the background music as visitors mingled through the 140 decorated trees on display.

Borello said, visitors can buy raffle tickets and deposit them into a box near the tree they would like to win. Included in the tree raffle is all decorations, gifts, and gift certificates, everything on and under the tree. The raffle runs throughout the festival and the winning tickets will be drawn on Sunday, Dec. 15. and winners need not be present.

Winners must remove their tree on Monday, Dec. 16, between noon and 7 p.m

Also acknowledged at Sunday’s private showing were 15-year sponsors which included: Karen Arpin, Donna Safford Fleury & Bette Jo Clark, LENOX / Stanley Black & Decker, Longmeadow Key Club, MAACO Collision Repair & Autobody, and Bob Whitney AIFD.

Also recognized were 10-year sponsors who included the MassMutual Center, Parrot Head Club of Eastern Mass PHCoEM, Peoples United Bank, Unity Club of Longmeadow High school, and Westfield Bank.

General admission is $5 and $4 for seniors and children 12 and under free.

Tree raffle tickets are 25 tickets for $10.

Show hours are Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday,10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.