Here’s a sneak peek inside the Festival of Trees in downtown Lawrence

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The Festival of Trees has a new location and new nightlife events this year, and its staple — a display of donated trees, wreaths and more with unique designs and themes — is ready for viewing hours, beginning Friday.

The festival is the primary annual fundraising event for the O’Connell Children’s Shelter, a nonprofit organization serves Douglas County young people who need residential care and stabilization services, truancy prevention and more

The trees will be on display from Friday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Dec. 3 at Maceli’s Banquet Hall, 1031 New Hampshire St. Organizers suggest a donation of $5 for each adult and child ages 6 and up. Full viewing hours are below, and this year’s festival includes some viewing time set aside for seniors only. 

Numerous other events, including breakfasts and cookies with Santa, holiday trivia, a drag show featuring MsAmanda Love and much more are planned this year. Read more about them in this article.

August Rudisell/Lawrence Times One tree wishes observers a “Merry Swift-mas.” Its ornaments include images of Taylor Swift, themed ornaments for albums including “Fearless,” “1989” and “Midnights,” nods to her new beau, Travis Kelce, and much more.

Festival of Trees viewing hours at Maceli’s are as follows: 

 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24
 Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25
 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26
 1:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27
 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28
 Senior viewing hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; general public viewing hours from 2 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29
 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30
 Noon to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1
 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2
 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 

The trees will be auctioned off at an auction party Saturday, Dec. 2. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m. at Maceli’s. Tickets are $65 per person for general admission, and VIP tickets are $125 per person. Answers to FAQs about the party and auction are available here.

Further event details and suggested donations can be found on the event website. Learn more about the O’Connell Children’s Shelter on its website,


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August Rudisell/Lawrence Times Maceli’s Banquet Hall, 1031 New Hampshire St., is dressed up for the holidays.
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