A West Palm Beach holiday tradition once again unfurls as the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens opens its doors for the seventh annual Festival of Trees. This year’s theme takes its cues from the written word with “The Wonder of Words,” letting tree decorators and sponsors tap into their inner author and use their favorite book, poem, story or even psalm as the inspiration for their design.
“Quite a bit of research goes into it,” says interior designer Jennifer Garrigues, one of the chairpersons of the event. “A lot of effort goes into it, starting small. But as you go, inspiration really starts to come to you.” These sentiments shine in Garrigues own design, inspired by the classic poem A Visit from St. Nicholas.
Each year, trees sponsored by area patrons and businesses are designed by an array of local interior designers, artists, architects and florists. Every aspect of the tree is meticulously planned and executed—no branch is left unturned in the pursuit of the perfect marriage between aesthetic, theme and originality.
As the seventh annual Festival of Trees transforms the gardens, the written word takes on a more tangible, visual experience. Branches of Douglas and Fraser Firs have morphed into storybook representations, a unique library of conical monuments set amid the tranquil tropical gardens. Inspiration boards range from children’s favorites like Hey Diddle Diddle to poetic works like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as well as holiday favorites, including the carol Joy to the World. In all, more than 30 trees will grace the lawns, gardens and courtyards of the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, each unique and noteworthy in its own right.
The Festival of Trees is one of the gardens’ major fundraising events. Proceeds support not only the gardens but also its community enrichment program, which includes exhibitions, literacy days, Earth days and student visits. Featuring a dazzling lightshow and performances by local musicians, dancers and actors dressed as holiday characters, the family-friendly Festival of Trees has become one of the most anticipated events of the holiday season.
New this year, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens’ welcomes younger visitors with a Children’s Gala on December 15 from 5-7 p.m. Children will have their own garden adventure, enjoying activities like a poetry slam, a performance by the School of Rock, favors of air guitars and sunglasses, a photo booth and, of course, the light show they so adore.
The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens’ seventh annual Festival of Trees comes to life with the gala reception December 6 from 7-10 p.m., followed by Community Days from December 7-14 from 6-8:30 p.m. The Children’s Gala will run from 5-7 p.m. on December 15
- Gala reception tickets cost $225 for nonmembers ($175 for members), $25 for children and $40 for nanny.
- Community Evening tickets cost $15 per adult and $5 for children.
- Check out the video of the fifth annual Festival of Trees, filmed and produced by Reynaldo Martin.
253 Barcelona Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33401