Does it seem like Christmas is right around the corner? That's because it is, literally, when you're on Centre Pointe Parkway. Inside an unassuming warehouse is a magical kingdom of holiday trees and tableaus, wreaths and gingerbread houses, all ready for enjoyment - and purchase, with proceeds all going to the Santa Clarita Valley Boys and Girls Club.
The Festival of Trees, which opens Thursday with a special preview event, has been in the works since August.
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More than 45 trees have been placed and decorated in the formerly empty warehouse in Canyon Country, with themes ranging from the traditional to the trendy, including Alice in Wonderland Upside Down; Harry Potter; Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; Children Around the World; and a Golf Palm tree. A non-traditional metal tree will feature wine.
Along with the trees, visitors will find a breathtaking display of stockings, wreaths, and gingerbread houses and will enjoy live entertainment, strolling magicians, a holiday boutique, Santa, and children’s activities.
Camelot Moving and Storage has been a behind-the-scenes volunteer for the Festival since the Festival started eight years ago.
“We have been helping the Boys and Girls Club with its summer auction for many years,” said Billy Kornfeld, owner of Camelot Moving and Storage. “It was only natural for us to assist with the Festival of Trees when that idea blossomed.”
Aside from moving the trees into the warehouse, Camelot helps deliver the trees to their new owners after the Festival is over. The company also donates storage space year-round to the Club, as well as to the Domestic Violence Center.
One of the most popular aspects of the annual event is the village of charming gingerbread houses. Although you will find her working during the Festival, Nanci Olmos, owner of Clarice’s Cake and Candy Supply, is also somewhat of a behind-the-scenes volunteer. In September she started “calling out” for volunteers to decorate the houses and in October she held a house-building demonstration at her store. She provides all builders with the baseboard, gingerbread house, and frosting. Several of the decorators this year included Girl Scout troops.
“From there, it is their job to be creative,” Olmos said. “I love working with kids and enjoy this annual project for the Boys and Girls Club.”
Over the year, the festival has changed and grown, adding three new elements for 2010.
A stocking showcase will feature stockings filled with gifts. They will be available for purchase-and-take as well as silent auction.
A Thursday evening preview will give adults a chance to leisurely inspect the trees, gingerbread houses, wreaths, stockings, and holiday boutique while enjoying a glass of wine (for purchase). Admission is $10.
Friday evening, November 19, is for the teens. Kids in grades 7-10 are invited to the “Jingle Jam” from 9:30-11:30 p.m. Music will be provided by a DJ. Cost is $10, including free refreshments.
More information about the Festival of Trees is available at http://scvbgc.org/ . For sponsorship, volunteer opportunities, or to donate a stocking, please call 661-254-3063.