Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival kicks off

Tickets for the Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival are available for purchase online at FairfieldChristmasTreeFestival.org.

Events include:

Sip ‘N’ Shop Thursday, Dec. 3, 7-9 p.m., exclusive preview of the historic Burr in all its Holiday Splendor. Purchase hand-designed decor, gifts,ornaments & custom made live wreaths. Very limited tickets available, $50 per person.

Let’s Make A Racquet Friday, Dec. 4, from 5-7 p.m., annual children’s event features special guest, Olympic Gold Medalist & Grand Slam Tennis Star Gigi Fernandez. Fairfield’s most cherished family holiday event. Enjoy dinner, entertainment and a visit from Santa before a luminary stroll to sing carols & watch the Fairfield Town Tree Lighting with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Cost is $20 per adult, $10 per child, 3 years and under are free.

Tennis Around The World Gala Saturday, Dec. 5, 7-10 p.m., doors open at 6:30 for gala, featuring special guest tennis star and ESPN host Patrick McEnroe. Regional fare & creative cock- tails from countries hosting the Gram Slam — Australia, England, France & USA. Luxurious auction items & live music by Band Together. Cost is $150 per person.

Mother-Daughter-Doll Tea Sunday, Dec. 6, noon-2 p.m., includes special children’s holiday menu & an elegant traditional tea menu for Moms. New England Ballet Company will present a mini-Nutcracker performance. Cost is $40 per adult/$25 per child.

The Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival has announced that its 2015 beneficiary is Norwalk Grassroots Tennis (NGT) based in Norwalk. The Festival takes place at Burr Homestead, 739 Old Post Road in Fairfield from December 3-6. All proceeds from the weekend events go directly to Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to improve the lives of children from low-income families through tennis, education, life skills and leadership programs.

Patrick McEnroe

Patrick McEnroe

“We are thrilled to work with an organization whose mission is to help inner-city youth through sport to build confidence, improve academic performance, teach leadership and eventually return from college as mentors and role models,” said Colleen Murphy, President of the Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival. “We hope to surpass the amount we raise each year and have chosen a beneficiary which will help our Festival reach a broader audience. We are also excited to welcome celebrity tennis pros Gigi Fernandez and Patrick McEnroe who will be attending two of our events.”

Gigi Fernandez

Gigi Fernandez

During the Festival, attendees can create custom live wreaths, browse the designer decorated rooms, purchase the handmade trees and wreaths for sale, take a photo with Santa and shop the holiday gift boutique. Doors to the Burr Homestead open to the public on Friday, Dec 4, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec 5, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec 6, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. General admission price is $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors.

The creative designers, who have hand-crafted holiday items in each decorated room and hallway of the Burr Homestead, include Merilee Ganim DeFarias of Ganims Garden Center and Florist for the front door wreath; Jackie Cameron of Jackie Cameron Landscaping and Design; Stephanie Markowich; Shaun Amberg of Calico Home Westport; Katie Keating of Calico Home Westport and Robin Cohen of Robin Cohen Designs; Cynthia Princi Restyling and Design; Gayle Erickson; Kristen Lucente and Bruno Puzzi of NGT; Shari Kendall; Mary Cahill of Mary Cahill Interiors and Stephanie Mercado of LeFrere Mercado Designs; Toni Zeleny, FCTF Board Member; and Debbie Charles and Lindsay Smith of The Final Touch Events.

For an additional fee, there are special events to attend each day of the Festival beginning with a “Sip ‘N’ Shop Preview” event on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 7-9 p.m. New this year, this event is an exclusive preview of the historic Burr Homestead decorated in holiday splendor. Attendees will be one of the first to purchase the hand-designed décor, ornaments and custom made live wreaths. Generously underwritten by Bill and Sharon Macey and Wells Fargo Bank, tickets to this preview event are $50 per person. Tickets to “Sip ‘N’ Shop Preview” are limited and walk-ins are not accepted.

On Friday, Dec. 4, the annual children’s event, “Let’s Make A Racquet”, will have a special celebrity guest – Olympic Gold Medalist and Grand Slam Tennis Star Gigi Fernandez. Fairfield’s most cherished holiday event, this event will feature dinner from A & S Italian Food, desserts by Sweet and Simple; cupcakes donated by Whole Foods Market Fairfield and rolls donated by Billy’s Bakery. There will also be magic entertainment from Mr. Abracadabra and the St. Thomas School choir, an art/crafts table and a surprise visit from Santa. Afterwards, attendees will enjoy a luminary-lit stroll to watch the Fairfield Town Tree Lighting. This event runs from 5-7 p.m. and is $20 per adult, $10 per child and free for children 3 years and under. Underwriters of the children’s event include Elizabeth M. Pfriem, Trimbly Family Foundation and Fairfield County Bank.

The Festival’s highly anticipated Holiday Gala, “Tennis Around The World”, will be held on Saturday, December 5 and will feature a special guest — tennis star and ESPN host Patrick McEnroe. Regional fare and creative cocktails from countries hosting the Grand Slam -Australia, England, France and USA- will be served. Attendees can take a chance to win an amazing diamond tennis bracelet donated by Henry C. Reid & Son, luxurious silent auction items will be available to bid on and live music will be provided by Band Together. Doors to Burr Homestead open at 6:30 p.m. for the Gala, which runs from 7-10 p.m. with ticket prices beginning at $150 per person. The Gala is generously underwritten by BKind, People’s United Bank, Newman’s Own Foundation, Darien Rowayton Bank, Fairfield University and Moffly Media.

A “Mother-Daughter-Doll Tea” will be held on Sunday, Dec 6th from 12noon-2pm. There will be a children’s holiday menu and an elegant traditional Tea menu for adults. The New England Ballet Company will present a mini-Nutcracker performance and there will be a special doll store to buy doll clothes and accessories. For mothers, there will be a ‘take-a-chance” to win a special piece of jewelry from Henry C. Reid & Son. Tickets to this Tea are $40 per adult and $25 per child. This event is underwritten by The Crooks Family, Aiello Charitable Trust, Karen and Bill Winget and Serendipity Magazine.

Tickets to any of these special events, which range from $20-$150, may be purchased online at FairfieldChristmasTreeFestival.org. Special acknowledgement to Diageo for donating all the wine, sparkling wine, beer and hard liquor for the Festival. Additional underwriters include Rob and Cindy Citrone; General Electric for Santa’s photos; the USTA and Pakula Foundation for the NGT hallway; and Joyce Hergenhan for Live Wreaths. Other media sponsors include Fairfield Citizen/Hearst Media; Hersamacorn; and STAR 99.9.

“We are proud to work with the committed Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival Board and volunteers. Fairfield is such a special place and we are honored to have been chosen as the 2015 beneficiary,” said Chris Hulse, Executive Director of Norwalk Grassroots Tennis. Founded in 1995, NGT uses the “hook” of tennis and the benefits of sports, namely camaraderie, good sportsmanship, improved health, etc. to attract youngsters and then accentuates the attributes of education and the importance of a college education to break the cycle of poverty. Tennis is the gateway to a nurturing community that surrounds each child and provides them with life skills and educational support. Norwalk Grassroots Tennis’s goal is to produce confident, productive and successful members of society.

The Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival is an independent, non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to raise funds for local community projects. Over $3.7 million has been raised since the Festival’s inception in 1981. For all the latest news and updated information on the 2015 Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival or to purchase tickets to any special events, visit FairfieldChristmasTreeFestival.org or follow us on Facebook.

2015 Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival Tri-Chairs Moira Rachel, FCTF Board Member; Tracy McEvoy, Norwalk Grassroots Tennis; Amy Pomponi, Norwalk Grassroots Tennis; and Colleen Murphy FCTF President.

2015 Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival Tri-Chairs Moira Rachel, FCTF Board Member; Tracy McEvoy, Norwalk Grassroots Tennis; Amy Pomponi, Norwalk Grassroots Tennis; and Colleen Murphy FCTF President.

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