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On Thursday, February 16th, 2017, the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains board of directors were presented with a check for proceeds generated from the Festival of Trees. The amount raised in 2016 exceeded the previous year, and was only made possible through the cooperative efforts of Hospitality Solutions, Inc. and organizations and leaders throughout Sevier County. With the help of a special design team led by Mary Ellen Rader, and sponsorships from local businesses, the 2016 Festival of Trees was a huge success.

On behalf of the Gatlinburg Festival of Trees, the Gatlinburg Chamber Foundation and all festival event sponsors we are proud to present a check for $30,601.72 to the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, states Logan Coykendall

The Festival of Trees, held at the W.L. Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg, kicked-off on Tuesday November 22nd, 2016, with the Candy Canes & Cocktails reception hosted by Steve and Jay of Mixx 105.5. Over 125 people were the first to preview the beautifully decorated trees, and participate in purchasing select trees and wreaths. Attendees also enjoyed signature cocktails provided by Ole Smoky Moonshine, a silent auction and delighted in music provided by the Smokey Mountain Sounds.

The festivities continued November 23rd – 27th, 2016. With attendance almost doubling this year, 6,000 people perused through the winter wonderland of trees, had their pictures made with Santa, and got crafty in the children’s play area and craft station while enjoying entertainment from Sevier County High School Choir and Seymour High School and Middle School Choirs, as well as other local musicians. The festival added another ticketed event in 2016, “Breakfast with Santa,” where families enjoyed breakfast with Santa Claus and created Christmas crafts in the festival’s Kids’ Area.

The Festival of Trees is a free event with the proceeds raised through major event sponsors, tree sponsorships, the sale of decorated trees and wreaths, donations from visitors, the Candy Canes & Cocktails reception, Breakfast with Santa tickets and the sale of commemorative FOT ornaments and T-shirts. The Festival of Trees major sponsors for 2016 included: Hospitality Solutions, Inc., Gatlinburg Hospitality Association, Ripley’s Entertainment, Citizens National Bank, The Historic Gatlinburg Inn, The Track, IHOP Restaurants of Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, Ownby Insurance, Laundry Systems of TN, Fort Fun Mini Golf & More, Foothills Furniture, The Greystone Lodge on the River, Zoder’s Inn & Suites, SmartBank, Parker Trutec MMI, Gibson Hotel Management, Quality Plumbing & Mechanical, Barnes Insurance Agency, ILM Rentals, Collier Restaurant Group, D&S Builders, Smoky Mountain Title, Tennessee State Bank, Fannie Farkle’s, Three Bears General Store and Ole Smoky Moonshine.

The Festival of Trees committee extends their sincere thanks to the sponsors, designers, purchasers, attendees, Sevier County schools, local service clubs, and volunteers that helped make the 2016 event successful, and make such a meaningful contribution to the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. In addition, the committee would like to thank the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and the wonderful staff at the Gatlinburg Convention Center for helping make this event possible.

Please mark your calendars for the 2017 Festival of Trees. The festival will kick-off on Tuesday November 21st, 2017, with the return of Candy Canes & Cocktails, and will run through Sunday November 26th, 2017. For more information on sponsorships, sponsoring a tree, or volunteering for the event please contact Amelia Sweeney at 865-365-1588.

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