Akron Childrenís Hospitalís Holiday Tree Festival celebrates 30 years

This popular family tradition takes place from Nov. 19-27

Tree Festival marks 30 years


Akron Children’s Hospital’s Holiday Tree Festival will celebrate its 30th anniversary Nov. 19-27 at the John S. Knight Center.

Originally founded in 1982 as a way for families to celebrate the holiday season, the event has grown into a larger-than-life spectacle that requires 87,000 strands of lights, more than 1,000 volunteers and features hundreds of glimmering trees, each with its own theme.

This free event is organized by the volunteers of Akron Children’s Hospital and has raised more than $3 million to benefit the continued efforts of medical research, education and patient care programs at Akron Children’s Hospital.

During the nine-day celebration, festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy and purchase more than 300 custom-decorated trees, wreaths and holiday items. All items on display are donated by local corporations, groups and individuals and will be available for immediate sale.

“The Holiday Tree Festival is Akron Children’s gift to the community,” says Heather Jalbert, who’s entering into her sixth year as the festival’s chairperson. “It’s become a family holiday tradition that spans generations.”

In honor of the festival’s 30th anniversary, a special raffle to win a 2011 Chevy Cruze will take place at the end of the festival on Nov. 27. Tickets will be on sale throughout the event and are $20 each. Proceeds benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Akron Children’s Hospital.

The Holiday Tree Festival will be open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday, 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. 18, 2011 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, please call the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation office at 330-543-8340.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Kids’ Day
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 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. 19 and Nov. 26, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.

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

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 2011 Holiday Tree Festival include: Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Buckeye Corrugated, Inc., The VanDevere Bunch, American Printing Inc., FirstEnergy Foundation, Interim Healthcare, John S. Knight Center, KeyBank, Macy’s, Ohio/Cleveland Magazine, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, Shearer’s Food, Inc., Soprema, Inc., Sterling Jewelers Inc., Swensons Drive In Restaurants and Target.

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Kick off the holidays at the 30th annual Holiday Tree Festival, Nov. 19-27

Media Contact

Anne C. Merchant