Annual Festival of Trees returns

From Staff Reports

More than a dozen beautifully decorated Christmas trees will be on public display as area non-profit organizations compete to win cash prizes for Best of Show and People’s Choice awards. Judges' awards will be given for the top three trees, with a total of $7,000 in cash prizes handed out.

The Festival of Trees, held annually in Grand Park at Grand Boulevard, showcases uniquely decorated Christmas trees. The trees are up and will remain in the park through Christmas for the public to enjoy and learn more about the missions of these organizations.

The trees remain on display day and night and the public can vote once a day for their favorite tree at the Visitor Services Kiosk at Grand Park. At 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, the contest winners will be announced in Grand Park; hot chocolate and cookies are served. The public is invited to attend these free events.

This year's participating non-profits include:

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, Children in Crisis, Children’s Volunteer Health Network, Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, Emerald Coast Relay for Life, Emerald Coast Theatre Company, Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles, Heart Animal Rescue, Shelter House, The ARC of the Emerald Coast and The ARC of Walton County

There will also be photos with Santa Claus every Saturday from 2-4 p.m. in Grand Park.