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The Shepherd’s Staff Festival of Trees to take place online this year

The Shepherd’s Staff’s annual Festival of Trees is still on for 2020, just in a very different format.

The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on the event, and The Shepherd’s Staff officials have decided to move to an all-virtual, silent auction format to help prevent the spread of coronavirus during the holidays.

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The Festival of Trees is set to begin Nov. 27 at 10 a.m., with bidding to close Dec. 6 at 2 p.m.

The festival, now in its 14th year, benefits The Shepherd’s Staff, a local nonprofit organization that provides assistance to people in crisis within the Carroll County community. More than 20 decorated trees and several other one-of-a-kind, handcrafted holiday items will be available for bid. Pictures and descriptions of the items will be displayed through an external online auction site closer to the date of the event.

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The Nutcracker Traditions tree displayed for the 2020 Festival of Trees, held virtually by The Shepherd's Staff.
The Nutcracker Traditions tree displayed for the 2020 Festival of Trees, held virtually by The Shepherd's Staff. (Courtesy Photo)

Participants will be given over a week to bid on their favorite trees and holiday decor. The Shepherd’s Staff has already begun showcasing the items through its Facebook page in an effort to gain interest before Nov. 27, to give people a preview of the trees and handcrafted items for bid.

“As much as we would have loved to continue the tradition of this event in person, it was just not feasible to bring such large crowds together during the continued pandemic,” Executive Director Brenda Meadows said in a news release. “We are very excited, however, to use this new platform and hopefully reach just as many, if not more people, through this format. The decorators have once again outdone themselves, and we can’t wait to showcase their beautiful work again this year.”

The Winter Botanicals tree displayed for the 2020 Festival of Trees, held virtually by The Shepherd's Staff.
The Winter Botanicals tree displayed for the 2020 Festival of Trees, held virtually by The Shepherd's Staff. (Courtesy Photo)

The Shepherd’s Staff is also seeking sponsorships for the virtual event. For more information on becoming a sponsor or for more information about the event, please call 410-857-5944 or email the organization at info@shepstaff.org.

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