32nd annual Holiday Tree Festival set to sparkle Nov. 23 – Dec. 1

Annual event benefits Akron Children’s Hospital’s patient care programs


The volunteers of Akron Children’s Hospital will host the 32nd annual Holiday Tree Festival Nov. 23- Dec. 1 at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron. Admission to the festival is free.

Originally founded in 1982 as a way for families to celebrate the holiday season, the event features magnificent displays of more than 140 decorated, full-size trees, and also wreaths, miniature trees and countless holiday creations. The festival also includes local entertainment surrounded by 87,000 strings of dazzling lights. Since its beginning, the Holiday Tree Festival has raised nearly $4.5 million to benefit the continued efforts of medical research, education and patient care programs at Akron Children’s.

“Each year, the event gets bigger and better,” said Mary Leuca, festival chairperson. “With the hundreds of volunteers who help turn this magical event into reality, it really is an event for the community, by the community.”

During the nine-day celebration, festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy and purchase more than 140 custom-decorated trees, as well as wreaths and other holiday items. All items on display are donated by local corporations, groups and individuals and will be available for immediate sale to benefit the hospital.

The 2013 Holiday Tree Festival will be open to the public Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sundays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Thanksgiving Day, 2 – 6 p.m.

As part of the festival, the public is invited to attend several special events, which are sure to become a holiday tradition and include:

Preview Gala
Friday, Nov. 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Guests will enjoy a sneak peak at the trees before the festival opens to the public and partake in dinner and the popular dessert buffet, as well as a silent auction. For tickets, corporate tables or sponsorship opportunities, call the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation at 330-543-8340.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Kids’ Day
Saturday, Nov. 23 at 10 a.m.

The festival officially opens to the public with a ribbon cutting and other fun activities, including face painting, visits from Akron Children’s Hospital’s Doggie Brigade, holiday entertainment and more.

Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, Nov. 23 and Nov. 30 at 8:30 a.m.

Enjoy breakfast with Santa Claus before he departs to the North Pole to prepare for the holidays! Families will enjoy a breakfast buffet and participate in fun activities during this memorable event. Space is limited, and registration is required. Please call 330-543-8340 for tickets and information.

For more information about the Holiday Tree Festival, visit


About the Holiday Tree Festival
Since 1982, the volunteers of Akron Children’s Hospital have presented the Holiday Tree Festival each holiday season as a free event to the community.

In addition to hundreds of volunteers, many other supporters help make this event possible through underwriting and donations. Major underwriters for the 2013 Holiday Tree Festival include: Buckeye Corrugated, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores and Merrill Lynch.

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The 32nd annual Holiday Tree Festival set to sparkle Nov. 23-Dec. 1!

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Anne C. Merchant

Lori Baker