Festival of Trees opens in Bel Air this weekend to benefit cancer treatment through LifeNet

Gingerbread houses decorated in Ravens and Orioles themes are among the many holiday items expected to be on display this weekend at the Bel Air Reckord Armory during the seventh annual Chesapeake Cancer Alliance Festival of Trees.

The event, which features a large selection of Christmas trees decorated in a variety of styles along with hands-on activities and other holiday displays, runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25 at the armory, located at 41 N. Main Street in Bel Air.

A preview event is scheduled this Friday, Nov. 23.

Organized by the Chesapeake Cancer Alliance, the event is one of several fundraisers that help support Upper Chesapeake Health's Cancer LifeNet Program. Last year, according to the organization, Chesapeake Cancer Alliance was able to donate $60,000 raised through various fundraisers to LifeNet.

Christmas trees of all sizes, wreaths and gingerbread houses decorated and donated by organizations, businesses and designers will be sold by silent auction throughout the weekend.

For those who see a tree they like but don't want to risk putting in a low bid, "Buy it Now" prices will be marked on each one.

In addition, there will be gift boutiques, a craft table, fresh greens, wreaths and kissing balls, a bake table and a cafe.

Children's activities include face painting, crafts and the popular make-your-own gingerbread house.

On Saturday, Nov. 24, the Harford County Reading Council will be giving out free books to children.

Entertainment on Saturday includes story time with Mrs. Claus at 11 a.m., Hoppin 'Hawks jump ropers at noon and the Ryan Kilcoyne School of Irish Dance at 1:15 and 2:15 p.m.

Sunday's entertainment is Professor Horn's Magic Show at 1 and 2 p.m. 

Adult admission is $6 and children 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. A $1 off coupon is available at http://www.chesapeakecanceralliance.org.

A Wine Down Social to kick off the festival will be held Friday, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Armory. Visit the festival after work or shopping and enjoy delicious hors d'oeuvres, sip a glass of wine and listen to music by Jon Sobis while previewing this year's decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses.

Tickets for the Friday social are $15 in advance and are available at HeartBeat, Preston's Stationery, La Chic Salon or by calling 410-838-4273 or 410-322-2223. Tickets at the door Friday are $20.

Prior to the festival on Saturday children can enjoy Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 8 to 10 a.m. at Applebee's Restaurant, 1225 Churchville Road in Bel Air. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children. (Children 5 and under are free). Call 410-942-0743 for information.

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