Opening today with virtual and limited in-person options, the 18th annual Euharlee Festival of Trees has transformed its admission and bid process in light of the lingering pandemic.The event will …
With virtual and limited in-person options, the 18th annual Euharlee Festival of Trees has transformed its admission and bid process in light of the lingering pandemic.
The event features trees, wreaths and other festive decor that is on display and up for auction, with the last bids being placed on its final night — Dec. 12 — at 8. The artificial conifers, ranging in theme and size, are filling the inside of the Euharlee Granary on Covered Bridge Road, next to the historic bridge.
“We will run a video on both Facebook pages — Euharlee Festival of Trees and Euharlee Festival of Trees GROUP page,” said Kathy Bibbings, co-founder of the event’s presenting organization, Just Believe Christmas for Kids. “We will showcase certain items nightly in order for people to bid. We will keep the bids posted as well.
“As far as attendance, we will open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday by appointment only. They can call or text me at 770-315-2100,” she said, adding the event will open “Friday through Sunday 6 until 9 with a limited quantity of patrons allowed through the building at one time.”
Unlike past years, there are no refreshments, bonfire or marshmallow roast. Face coverings are mandatory and social distancing is required for those entering the building, which is leased from the city of Euharlee.
“Most importantly we ask out of respect for everyone's safety if anyone is sick, has any cough, sneeze, congestion, red eye, fever of any kind, we ask they please stay home,” Bibbings said. “Should we detect any of the above, guests could be turned away before entry.
“Our banners will not go out this year. Our event signs will. We will open solely on attendees seeing our event signs and word of mouth. We anticipate lighter than normal attendance and a more manageable crowd.”
Pictures with Santa from Friday through Sunday also is set up differently.
“Santa and Mrs. Claus will maintain a 6-foot distance as much as possible,” Bibbings said. “There will be no direct contact or interaction. If the families would like to snap a pic with Santa, the child can stand in frame with Santa in background.”
In its eighth year presenting the Festival of Trees, Just Believe Christmas for Kids is continuing the legacy of the event’s previous organizers — The Covered Bridge Players and the Margaret Montgomery Christmas 4 Kids Foundation — with proceeds helping furnish Christmas gifts to children in need. There is no admission cost, but donations are appreciated.
While he supports Just Believe Christmas for Kids and its event, Euharlee City Manager James Stephens is “very concerned about in-person visits through the facility.” Due to COVID-19, he encourages “people to attend virtually and to bid and donate generously.”