GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Black Friday isn’t just about sales. At the Queensbury Hotel, it’s also about unique Christmas trees, good causes, and holiday magic.
The 31st Annual North Country Festival of Trees opened at the Queensbury Hotel in downtown Glens Falls on Friday. Trees, wreaths, kissing balls and further decorations – over 140 items in all – fill an event space inside the hotel, waiting to be admired – and eventually sold.
“We opened at 11 a.m., and we’ve already had a record-breaking number of visitors,” said Ann Schneider-Costigan, one of the festival’s organizers, about half an hour into the first day. “This is one of the highest numbers of items that we’ve had, and we’ve had a record number of sales so far.”
Every tree, centerpiece or other decoration on display is for sale. Every sale benefits the Prospect Center, a Queensbury-based center for children and families living with disabilities. The money goes into keeping the center’s programs on the cutting edge of what the families who visit need.
The trees themselves have got it all. Traditional pines with ball ornaments and tinsel? You’ve got it. An all-white one full of North Country creatures? Of course. Schneider-Costigan’s favorite is covered in sensory items used by children on the Autism spectrum, a direct connection to the Prospect Center’s work.
One other favorite is a red-and-green bike, ridden by the classic Grinch character. He’s got a sack of goodies on the handlebars, including a whole tree poking out. That bike has already ridden away from the sale, only to come right back again.
“We sold it for $1,000 – and then the person who purchased it donated it back. Then, the Queensbury Hotel purchased it and will be giving us another $1,000.”
Every item at the festival is designed and decorated by a community member of group. They were dropped off earlier in the week, and will remain through the weekend.
This year’s festival was also special, thanks to a jolly, familiar face in the next room over from the trees themselves. Santa Claus visited with local kids, hearing about all their wishes for the holidays to come.
“They’ve got their lists,” Mr. Claus said. “Some of them are pretty long and two-sided. A kid starts off asking for a dirt bike, and it gets bigger and bigger from there.”
The North Country Festival of Trees runs from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 25-26. It wraps up from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 27.