Annual event supports Home Health and Hospice

The 14th annual Festival of Trees is bringing holiday cheer to the community and helping hospice patients locally.

This year the festival is expected to attract more than 5,000 guests, and all proceeds will benefit Onslow County Home Health and Hospice patients.

“From start to finish, there’s close to 300 nonprofits, businesses, churches, and schools all involved with this,” said Jean Cole, the Festival of Trees chairman and volunteer with the event. “We have such a good team here. Sometimes you just need to have neighbors helping neighbors.”

Festival of Trees will be held at the American Legion Building Post 265, located at 146 Broadhurst Road in Jacksonville. It is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is a $2 donation.

When guests walk into the building, they’ll immediately be surrounded with 60 freshly cut Christmas trees grown in the North Carolina mountains, hundreds of holiday decorative items, freshly baked goods and warming beverages.

“We charge only $2 on the door. When (attendees) come in they can buy from the Sweet Shoppe, they can buy from the Gift Shop, they can bid on the Silent Auction depending on what they’d like to do,” Cole said.

Other showcases are dedicated to certain themes such as Santa Land, Holiday Gifts, Bread Sales, Gingerbread House display and much more.

“The silent auction is probably the biggest thing here. There’s two to 300 items in that for people to bid on,” Cole said.

There will be plenty of activities that children will enjoy too, including arts, crafts and music.

And the holiday cheers created by the festival is transformed into goodwill that helps support those in the last days of their life.

“When people get really sick, and they lose just about everything, that’s where we can come in. ... We can help that family out during a crisis,” Cole said.

For information, call 910-324-1650 or 910-389-6220.