If you like elaborately decorated artificial Christmas trees, then you might want to etch out some time in your upcoming schedule.
Beginning Saturday, the Bektash Shrine Center will turn its Pembroke Road location into a winter wonderland with the 17th annual Feztival of Trees. And whether you’ve been going year after year – or have never heard of it – it’s always fun to see what people come up with for their tree creations.
This year, local businesses, organizations and families came together to create more than 100 trees that, if you buy some raffle tickets, you’ll have a chance to win and take home with you.
“You never know what to expect,” said Shriner Ted Dooley, who started the event with his wife Barbara. “We get new and different trees every year and it’s amazing to see what people come up with.”
The themed trees change each year, so you’ll just have to go and see what‘s new this time around. Raffle tickets are sold in sheets of 30 for $5.
So when you see one that you like, put a raffle ticket (or 30) in the bucket and cross your fingers that your name will be called on the last day of the Feztival to take it home. If you find many that you’d love to win, spread your tickets around or buy a few sheets and stack the deck. All the money supports the New Hampshire Shriners, so you know it’s going to a good cause.
There will also be a special treasure tree that is a separate raffle. The tree includes several hundred scratch tickets with well over $1,000 worth of tickets purchased and donated for it, as well as a $2,000 cash prize. That sure is a tree we’d like to win.
Tickets for the treasure tree are $5 each or three for $10.
In addition to the trees, there will be loads of silent auction items up for grabs. All you have to do is make sure you put the largest amount on the sheet.
After his appearance at the Concord Christmas Parade, Santa will take up residence at the Shrine Center for the length of the Feztival to meet with little boys and girls, and take special requests for Christmas.
There will be games for the kids to play while parents peruse the trees – or for a break from the Christmas overload.
“A lot of people tell us they come every year and it gets their family in the Christmas spirit,” Dooley said.
The Candy Cane Cafe will be open and serving up hamburgers, sandwiches, soups, baked goods and more.
The Feztival has come a long way since it opened with 19 trees. Over the previous 16 years, the Feztival has raised more than $1.5 million.
“Now we’re over 100 and have to turn people away,” Dooley said. “It really has grown dramatically.”
Like we said, the Feztival opens Saturday and runs through Nov. 26, but don’t make plans to go down there Thanksgiving day because it will be closed.
The Feztival will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. next Tuesday and Wednesday. The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 24 and 25), it will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The final day is slated to be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Silent auction bidding closes Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. All the trees will be raffled off at 4 p.m. on Nov. 26, once the Feztival is over.
The Bektash Shrine Center is located at 189 Pembroke Road. Cost is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and free for children 12 and under. Group rates are also available.
“And once you buy a ticket, if you keep your program book you can use that as your admission on another day,” Dooley said. “We want to keep the cost reasonable.”
For more information, visit bektashshriners.org/ feztival.php.