‘Tis the Season for Festival of Trees

Don't miss the beloved annual event. November 12 - 20.

First presented in 1986, Festival of Trees, created by Council of 101, is a premier Orlando holiday event. (PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ORLANDO MUSEUM OF ART)

Every November for decades past, visions of sparkling holiday trees danced in Linda Cegalis’s head. This year, Cegalis is more excited than ever about the 36th Annual Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art.

“Since my children were little, my family has been attending, and it’s really a spirited, beautiful, joyous event,” says Cegalis, longtime volunteer and now president of Council of 101, the non-profit group of volunteers that stages the beloved event.


From Nov. 11-20, the museum’s galleries and halls will be decked with more than 50 festive trees, holiday vignettes and wreaths, and intricate gingerbread houses created by local designers and artisans and themed to “Gifts of the Season.”

“We’re excited to inspire people for the holidays, to see happy faces and know that Council 101 brings that joy to so many,” she says.

As guests first enter the museum rotunda, they’ll encounter an elegant, 14-foot fir tree featuring traditional red and green floral accents created by local designer and volunteer Dickie Stegall. In the art galleries beyond, which showcase works by celebrated American and international artists, a cheery display of trees standing seven to 15 feet tall, will twinkle and glow as seasonal music plays. Live entertainment and pop-up shops will add to the atmosphere of an old-fashioned holiday gathering.


The trees, festooned with hand-crafted decorations and dazzling ornaments, are up for sale. “So many people will buy the trees and the gingerbread houses and donate them—that is triple joy!” Cegalis says, adding that a museum full of happy faces is reward for all the work that Council 101 volunteers do to make Festival of Trees happen. “Knowing that our organization brings that joy to so many people really makes me happy, and that’s true for many of us who do this volunteer work.”

Families can flock to see Santa at the event, and this year’s festival will include a Reindeer Romp for children. Orlando Health is the platinum sponsor of Festival of Trees, which is expected to draw 20,000 people including private party guests.

Event proceeds support Orlando Museum of Art’s community-wide educational and lifelong learning programs.

Visit councilof101.org for event hours and tickets priced $20 for adults; $12 for children 3-12, seniors 60 and up, and military personnel and first responders. Special events such as the Opening Night Gala and Breakfast with Santa are priced separately. Parking is $7.

Categories: Arts and Events