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Christmas tree-palooza

Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Mary Bridge Children's Hospital

Celebrate the season at the 2015 Mary Bridge Festival of Trees. Photo credit: Mary Bridge Festival of Trees

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What says "Merry Christmas!" better than a perfectly decorated Christmas tree? How about 60 beautifully decorated Christmas trees? Even better: how about all those Christmas trees in one warm, dry place?

Once again this year, the Mary Bridge Brigade is proud to present its annual Festival of Trees. This year, the Festival will be held from Thursday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 6 in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center located at 1500 Broadway in Tacoma. The festival consists of several memorable events with all proceeds benefitting Tacoma's Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.

Kicking off the festival this year is Thursday's "Special Tours" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival's Special Tours are specifically designed for groups with special needs. Although the tours are offered free of charge to qualifying groups, reservations are required. To learn more about the Special Tours, or to reserve a tour for your group, check out the website at

From 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Thursday night is "Ladies' Night Out." This 21 and over event is a fantastic opportunity to hang out with friends, sample some girly drinks, nosh on sweet and savory appetizers, shop an assortment of local vendors, and bid on expertly designed Christmas wreaths and decorated mini trees. There will also be a "Fund-a-Need" benefit, which supports the Helping Hand Fund, a fund that provides "patients and their families with cab fare, cafeteria meals and other immediate and unexpected expenses." Tickets are $75 each and must be purchased online at

Friday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. is the festival's highly anticipated black tie Gala. An evening of food, drink and a silent auction culminates in an opportunity to bid on your favorite Christmas tree to display in your own home or to donate as you see fit. There will also be opportunities to purchase decorated wreaths, mini-trees and top-of-the-line jewelry. Tickets are $300 per person. To purchase tickets and reserve seats, visit

Dance the night away to the music of Daryl and the Diptones at Saturday evening's Jingle Jam. From 6 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. you'll have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction, a live auction and a raffle for some incredible gifts and packages. You can also raise your bid card to donate to the Bridges Program through Fund-a-Need. Tickets are $125 per person and may be purchased on the festival's website, To learn more about the Bridges Program, visit their website at

The Festival of the Trees is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Bring the family and "enjoy the live community entertainment, play games in the lobby, have your picture taken with Santa, and find unique treasures in the Mary Bridge Brigade Gift Shop." Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and at the door. Admission is just $6 for adults, $2 for students between the ages of 13 and 18, and free for kids 12 and under.

FESTIVAL OF TREES, Ladies' Night Out, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, $75; Gala, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4, $300; Jingle Bell Jam, 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, $125; Public Days, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6, general admission $6, student admission (13-18) $2, children 12 and under are free; Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, 1500 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.403.3095 or 253.403.1368,

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