Is Christmas time already here? Houlton’s Health Services Foundation begins their Festival of Trees

Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 2:18 PM EST
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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) - With Thanksgiving around the corner, some are already thinking about their Christmas tree. Houlton’s Festival of Trees, which had its opening night on Friday, November 10, 2023, is giving community members a chance to enter a raffle for their own tree.

The raffle is a fundraiser with all of the funds going to the Health Services Foundation in Houlton. All of the raffle tickets cost $1 each. The trees up for raffle have been donated by local businesses or community members.

Lori Weston, the Executive Director of the Foundation, says that the opening night had the largest crowd since the festival began 10 years ago. In addition, Weston says that the annual event is important for bringing the community together. “It’s been an incredible evolution of this event,” Weston says. “Every year we gain more trees, more people are interested, and it isn’t just businesses - it’s individuals, and it’s community members. You’ll see here some trees that are done in memory of folks. It has a lot of meaning for folks.”

The festival is taking place in the Sunset Farm barn in Houlton, and is free to attend. “It’s an incredible feeling in this barn,” Weston said, standing under the twinkle lights. “I love when little children open the door and their mouths fall open because they just see all the lights.”

This year there are 55 items donated to the raffle, including traditonal trees, presents, wreaths, and even a fireplace. All of the trees have their own theme and many include surprises, from gift cards to movies.