While thousands of Southwest Floridians pack the malls on "Black Friday," many others will celebrate the start of the holiday season at the Festival of Trees, a free, family-friendly event in the heart of the Fort Myers River District.
For the fourth year, this beautiful display of elaborately decorated trees will delight children and adults alike at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center (2301 First Street, Fort Myers). The Festival, organized and presented by the Southwest Florida Goodwill Foundation, opens at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 26, and will continue until Friday, December 3. Hours vary through the week.
Last year, more than 4,000 people visited the free holiday display in the Fort Myers River District.
Activities for the opening weekend include a children's workshop, where children will be able to create holiday crafts, write letters to Santa, play holiday games, and enter a coloring contest. The workshop will be open Friday, November 26 (11 a.m.-8 p.m.), Saturday, Nov. 27 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday, November 28 (11 a.m.-6 p.m.). A $5.00 per child admission fee applies to the children's workshop.
Saturday evening, November 27, the Festival of Trees will be the centerpiece of the Fort Myers "Holiday Stroll," the River District's holiday celebration. "Spirit of the Gulf," a internationally-renowned 150-member women's chorus, will perform outside the Art Center as the Mayor arrives via horse-drawn carriage.
The Festival will once again wrap up with the "Tux & Trees Gala," a black-tie fundraiser for the Southwest Florida Goodwill Foundation. This year's Gala will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4.
The Festival of Trees and the Tux & Trees Gala are the signature fundraising events for the Southwest Florida Goodwill Foundation. In just three years, these events have raised more than $150,000 to support Goodwill's programs and services.
For Festival of Trees information, including dates, times, and tickets to the Tux & Trees Gala, visit www.tuxandtrees.com or call (239) 995-2106 ext. 249.