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25th annual Festival of Trees opens Nov. 12

• The Times Leader’s Holiday Traditions cookoff among the scheduled events

October 30, 2011
Times Leader

WHEELING-The 25th annual Festival of Trees, presented by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upper Ohio Valley, opens on a new day, Saturday, Nov. 12, with a full week of activities for children and adults slated for the Wheeling Artisan Center/River City Aleworks.

DPS Penn is sponsoring the opening gala dinner dance, black tie optional, set for Saturday, Nov. 12. The VIP cocktail reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7:30 p.m., followed by dancing to Pittsburgh's cabaret sensation, Vida. The sale of more than 100 professionally decorated trees, wreaths and other holiday decor will begin that evening.

Guests also can place bids in a silent auction on sports memorabilia, some with authenticated signatures, presented by Prime Time Memorabilia.

Article Photos

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upper Ohio Valley kicks off their 25th annual Festival of Trees on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Wheeling Artisan Center/River City in Wheeling. Those involved with organizing the event include, clockwise from top left, Jason Miller, River City co-owner; Ted Williams, chair, Tuxes and?Trees gala; Shannan Watson, executive director, Big Brothers Big Sisters; Tom Tarowsky, festival co-chair; Judi Tarowsky, festival co-chair; Molly Williams, chair, Tuxes and?Trees gala; and Kasi Bowman, River City manager.

The popular raffle tree returns this year with a spectacular display from the Trans Siberian Orchestra. The tree will include concert tickets, an autographed guitar, CDs and other TSO items. The winning ticket will be drawn Nov. 20.

The popular Victorian Tea will offer a "soft" opening for the Festival of Trees, with three seatings beginning at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. The second seating is at 1 p.m. and the third and final seating, at 2:45 p.m. Guests will enjoy tea, sandwiches and sweets while learning about Victorian life and manners. A keepsake photo is included.

A complete listing of Festival events follows:

Saturday, Nov. 12 -Victorian Tea, sponsored in part by PPG-Natrium Plant. Seatings at 11:15 a.m.; 1 p.m.; 2:45 p.m. Tickets $10 per child; $7 per adult.

Saturday, Nov. 12 - Tuxes and Trees gala dinner dance, sponsored by DPS Penn; valet parking sponsored by TwoCan Communications. VIP tables for eight are $750, which includes the VIP champagne reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. General seating is $125 per couple and $75 for single.

Sunday, Nov. 13 Closed

Monday, Nov. 14 Open 10 a.m.-2 p.m., admission $5 adults; $4 seniors 60 and over and children 12 and under.

Tuesday, Nov. 15 Open 10 a.m., general admission.

Tuesday, Nov. 15 1-3 p.m. Times-Leader Holiday Traditions Cookbook Contest Finals, general admission.

Tuesday, Nov. 15 Italian Night, sponsored by RML Enterprises and Paree Insurance Centers. Buffet dinner 6 p.m., presented by Bellaire Lodge, Sons of Italy, featuring pasta and sausage; $20 per person. Music by Nick Fiasco.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 Open 10 a.m., general admission.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 1-3 p.m. Senior Day, featuring coffee and sweets, sponsored by First Choice America, $4 for seniors.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 World Cuisines Night, 6-9 p.m., featuring the Wheeling Park Patriots Choir and the Monarch Choir from John Marshall High School. Guests can enjoy samplings from Ye Olde Alpha (Mexican); Young's Cafeteria (Polish); Suzie Q Bakery (German) and River City Aleworks (Irish). Tickets, $10 at the door.

Thursday, Nov. 17 Open 10 a.m., general admission.

Thursday, Nov. 17 Festival After Hours, 5-8 p.m. Guests can drop in after work for a relaxing evening of appetizers and a cash bar. Tickets, $9 in advance, $12 at the door.

Friday, Nov. 18 Open 10 a.m., general admission. Open during the parade.

Saturday, Nov. 19 Dress Your Bear breakfast, sponsored by Denny's Restaurant and First Financial Services, 9-11:30 a.m. Children and adults will enjoy a sausage and pancake breakfast. Each child will receive a stuffed bear and have the opportunity to dress it as he or she chooses; visit with Santa Claus; receive a balloon animal, decorate a cookie and enjoy face painting. $10 per child, $5 for adults.

Saturday, Nov. 19 - Open noon-8 p.m., general admission.

Saturday, Nov. 19 Winter Wine Tasting and Gourmet Food Pairing demonstration, 8-11 p.m. For 21 and over only. Wine expert Kathy Figaretti will pour a selection of fine wines while the River City chefs prepare gourmet food to pair with her selections. VIP tables of six, $300; individuals, $35 each.

Unless otherwise noted, special event tickets are prepaid reservations. Mastercard and Visa are accepted. Please call the Big Brothers Big Sisters office, a United Way agency, at 304-232-0520.



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