Riverside declares Festival of Trees a ‘great success’


Due to the tremendous support of sponsors, designers, and community partners, the 20th Annual Festival of Trees at Riverside Theatre was a great success!

Benefitting Children’s Theatre programming and scholarships at Riverside Theatre, the Festival began on Friday, November 17th with a glittering gala featuring live entertainment by Howl at the Moon and catered food by The Catering Revolution. The Festival continued on November 18th & 19th with Breakfast with Santa and a holiday showcase for the entire community.

While the fundraising tally is yet to be finalized, attendance at this year’s Festival was up 20% from last year’s record-breaking numbers. Patrons enjoyed not only the Christmas decorations and holiday atmosphere, but the great activities for kids and the many local entertainment groups, which performed on the Waxlax and Outdoor Stages. Once again, Family Night on Saturday evening was a huge draw bringing in 600 more people that the prior year.

“We are thrilled to see the community embrace this event year after year,” said Jon Moses, Riverside Theatre COO. “It is wonderful to see the entire campus brimming with people enjoying the holiday decorations, live entertainment and children’s activities.”

With over 50 decorated trees, wreaths, gingerbreads and vendors, the Festival of Trees is a Vero Beach tradition and the area’s start to the holiday season.

”Wow! What an amazing turnout this year,” said Lisa Davidson, Owner of Exclusively Coastal. “We had record sales at our booth, saw so many of our long time customers and met so many new friends! We had a blast!”

“Every year there is a new theme that inspires the designs of the trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses,” said Annamarie LaBella, Director of Special Events at Riverside Theatre. “We are always so excited to see the design interpretations.”

Each donated tree, wreath and gingerbread is judged for originality, use of theme, and other factors with homemade ribbons awarded to the winners in each category.

This year’s design winners include:

Wreaths –

Most Whimsical – “We’re All Mad Here” – by Brittany Floyd and Elizabeth Cullen

Best Use of Theme – “Gingerbread Wonderland” – by Vero Beach Email Marketing

Best Technique – “Sugar and Spice by the Sea” – by Elizabeth Ryan

Most Original – “Santa: Santa Class” – by Lori G. Emery

Most Traditional – “Joy” – Jean Clark

Most Playful – “Scrumdidilyumptious” – by Elizabeth Cullen and Brittany Floyd

Ginger Breads:

Most Whimsical – “Candyland Castle” – by Jessica Hatmaker

Best Use of Theme – “A Fizzy Fun Christmas” – Brittany O’Neal

Best Technique – “Little Girls Are” – by Marlina Badenhop

Most Traditional – “Everything Nice Bakery & Confections” – by Shannan Estes

Short Trees:

Most Whimsical – “Sweet Memories by the Sea” – by Heather Sultzman and Robyn Flick

Best Use of Theme – “Candyland Christmas” – by Liz Hancock and Mary Gerken

Best Technique – “Seas and Greetings” – by Girard Equipment

Most Original – “Scrumdidilyumptious” – by Elizabeth Cullen and Brittany Floyd

Most Traditional – “The Gold Standard” – by Andrea Mossman Beck Interior Designs

Tall Trees:

Most Whimsical – “Sugar & Spice & Pickleball’s Nice” – by The Sweet Pickledillies

Best Use of Theme – “The Sweet Life” – by Tara Luton and Meredith Plank

Best Technique – “Twas the Night Before Christmas” – By Kathy Scures-Gutierrez

Most Original – “Nutcracker Reimagined: On the Indian River” – by Ballet Vero Beach

Most Traditional – “Sweetly Victorian” – by Mary Cable and Anna Marie Cable

Best in Show – “Scrumdidilyumptious” – by Elizabeth Cullen and Brittany Floyd

While the 20th edition of Festival of Trees is but a memory, discussions have begun for the 21st Annual Festival of Trees, which will take place in November 2018 and will include more decorations, more entertainment, more activities and more fun for the whole family!

Thank you to our 20th Annual Festival of Trees sponsors: Bill and Mary Ann Becker; George E. Warren Corporation; The Minotty Family Foundation; The Ueltschi Family; The Catering Revolution; Mrs. Herman F. Becker; Berkshire Hathaway Florida Realty; J. Scott Beckwith IV Family; Treasure Coast Sotheby’s International Realty; Boston Barricade; White Glove Moving and Storage; Robin LLoyd & Associates, P.A.; Vero Beach Magazine; Brown & Brown Insurance; Dental Partners of Vero Beach; Disney Vacation Club; Betty Foster; Girard Equipment, Inc.; Indian River Medical Center; Rosato Plastic Surgery Center; Sebastian River Medical Center; Sea Turtle Real Estate; Treasure Coast Dermatology; Dr. Arthur LaBella; Lyn and Richard Law; WaWa; Mulligan’s Beach House.


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