Photos: Kids enjoy cookies, visit with Santa

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Locals flocked to Liberty Hall on Monday to enjoy cookies, have their photos taken with Santa and admire the myriad of trees and wreaths that are part of the annual Festival of Trees. 

For those who missed out on Monday’s cookies and photos, a second Cookies with Santa event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Liberty Hall. The suggested donation is $5 per person over the age of 3, or $20 for families of four or more people. 


All proceeds from the Festival of Trees events go to the O’Connell Children’s Shelter, which offers foster care, prevention programs, emergency shelter and more. More than 45 individuals and groups donated gingerbread houses, wreaths and Christmas trees to be bid on during a live auction Wednesday evening and silent auction throughout the week, according to the organization’s website.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the festival setup and information on viewing hours at this link. For a full rundown of festival events and more information, head to this link

Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times Santa sits in the middle of dozens of trees decorated for the Festival of Trees, as seen from the Liberty Hall balcony.
Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times Hazel Shields, 4, of Lawrence, grins before returning to her cookies. Staff members of Eileen’s Colossal Cookies graciously decorated countless sugar cookies with festive designs throughout the event.
Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times More than 45 groups and individuals donated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses to raise money for the O’Connell Children’s Shelter.
Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times Lawrence photographer Susan Wolfe took photos of families with Santa. 
Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times Every donated tree was fully decorated by the person or organization it came from. Liberty Hall was bathed in a warm glow as people filtered in and out Monday. 
Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times This tree was decorated and donated by the Lawrence Fight Club, a full service MMA gym. 
Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times
Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times
Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times
Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times
Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times
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Chloe Anderson (she/her) contributed to The Lawrence Times from August 2022 through May 2023. She is also published in Climbing magazine, Kansas Reflector and Sharp End Publishing. As a recent graduate of the University of Kansas, Chloe plans to continue her career in photography, rock climbing and writing somewhere out West.

You can view her portfolio, articles and commissioned work here. Check out more of her work for the Times here.

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