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Christmas Tree Festival lights the Burr Homestead this weekend

Decorations will be on display when the Burr Homestead hosts the annual Christmas Tree Festival this weekend. (Mark Smith Photography)

Decorations will be on display when the Burr Homestead hosts the annual Christmas Tree Festival this weekend. (Mark Smith Photography)

Despite super storms and snowstorms, thoughts turn to the upcoming holiday season and the volunteers of the Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival have been preparing for all the activities at the Burr Homestead Nov. 29 to Dec. 2.

The 2012 Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival will benefit both the Cardinal Shehan Center in Bridgeport and the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center in Fairfield.

Witness the beauty of the season at the Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival. (Mark Smith Photography)

Witness the beauty of the season at the Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival. (Mark Smith Photography)

There will also be opportunities to take a photo with Santa, shop for gifts at the holiday boutique and enjoy a cup of hot cider.Visitors are encouraged to roam the mansion, where each room has been designed by local interior decorators. Trees, wreaths and decorative items throughout the house will be for sale and one-of-a-kind live wreaths will be created to a buyer’s specifications.

Visitors can help another charity, Emerge Inc., by purchasing a $5 raffle ticket to win a one-of-a-kind quilt made by award-winning quilt maker Cecily Zerega.

On Thursday, Nov. 29, the festival opened with “Share A Toast,” a wine and beer tasting from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The night’s event was sponsored by Fairfield County Bank and hosted by Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit in Westport. A beer garden was sponsored by Southport Brewing Company of Fairfield. Rizzuto’s Restaurant and Gaetano’s Market provided food.

On Friday, Nov. 30, there will be an evening children’s event called “Sharing Is Caring,” a Christmas celebration for the whole family. There will be a surprise visit, arts and crafts; holiday face painting; and an animated magic show by Nick Morriello as Mr. Abracadabra. There will be a chicken and pasta dinner and salad provided by A&S Italian Fine Foods, bread from Billy’s Bakery and holiday cookies from The Pantry. Attendees will then participate in an old-fashioned Christmas stroll to watch the annual tree lighting at the Fairfield Town Hall Green.

This Christmas Tree Festival event is 5-7 p.m.; tickets to the children’s event are $20 per person.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, the “A Season We Celebrate” holiday gala will begin with a house preview at 6:30 p.m. There will be a light dinner catered by Festivities, cocktails, silent and live auctions, and dancing to DJ Nomad. There will also be a champagne raffle with the chance to win jewelry donated by Henry C. Reid & Son Jewelers. Tickets to the gala, which takes place from 6:30 to 10 p.m., begin at $150 per person.

A new addition to the Christmas Tree Festival this year is the online auction, which will end Friday, Nov. 30, at 11 p.m. Bidders must log in to the members area and create an account to bid. Visit onlinecharityauction.org to preview and bid on items.

“Share A Cup Of Tea” from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, features a traditional Christmas tea catered by The Royal Tea Company. The event includes Bigelow Tea and a champagne raffle. Reservations are required; tickets are $50 per person.

The Quilt Raffle, Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, will be drawn Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. The grand prize of the Quilt Raffle is a 4-foot by 5-foot machine-pierced and hand-quilted “Noah’s Ark” quilt designed and created by Fairfield artist Cecily Zerega. Featuring Noah, his wife and 25 pairs of intricately made animals, the quilt is valued at $500.

Second prize is a machine-pierced and hand-quilted “Noah’s Ark Misfits,” valued at $150. Third prize is a 14-inch by 30-inch handmade holiday table runner designed and created by Edie Faile, which is valued at $75.

“To have everyone pull together to support the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center and the Cardinal Shehan Center is a true celebration of this community’s generous spirit,” said Moira Rachel, Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival president. “We are so fortunate to have local businesses, community leaders and many volunteers participate in this event and are looking forward to a successful year!”

General admission to the Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival at the Burr Homestead is $5 to $10 and tickets to the special events, which range from $20 to $150, can be purchased by visiting FairfieldChristmasTreeFestival.org.

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