Kennedy Krieger Institutes Festival of Trees

2200 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21201


History of Festival of Trees

Festival of Trees is Kennedy Krieger's largest fundraising event of the year and the largest holiday-themed event in the Mid-Atlantic region. Festival of Trees includes more than 500 beautifully decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses designed by local artists, businesses and community groups, plus holiday crafts shopping, amazing items up for grabs at the silent auction, hourly live entertainment and, of course, Santa! Awards will be given to the top designers in various categories, and trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses will be sold to benefit the research, treatment and education programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Kennedy Krieger Institute's Festival of Trees was established in 1990 as a fundraiser to benefit children with neurological disorders served by the Institute. Over the years, the Festival of Trees has become the largest family-oriented holiday tradition throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. The magical setting takes place at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, Cow Palace. With a paid attendance exceeding 35,000, the Festival of Trees is a unique and picturesque event that attracts a large and diverse audience from the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Festival of Trees opened to the public in 1990 at Festival Hall in Baltimore City. After a few years, Festival of Trees had to find a new location when Festival Hall was torn down. The move to the Maryland State Fairgrounds has been a tremendous success for the Festival of Trees. The Fairgrounds offer less traffic jams, plenty of free parking, and much more square footage for growth of the Festival inside the Cow Palace. Each year, a solid week of set-up takes place before the event opens to the public. Inside the Cow Palace, 120,000 square feet is transformed into a magical, holiday setting over Thanksgiving weekend.

Over the years, Festival of Trees has grown with the involvement of more sponsors, designers, performers and volunteers. Festival of Trees is planned and implemented by more than 500 caring community volunteers, who give freely of their time and talent. The focal point of the event is the holiday decor which features over 500 spectacular holiday trees, wreaths, stockings and gingerbread houses created by local designers, artists, florists and individuals. Festival of Trees is truly an exciting event you won't want the family to miss!

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