The 4th annual Sea Festival of Trees lights up the seacoast with 15 days of Christmas beginning Friday, November 18th. Held at the spacious Blue Ocean Event Center located directly on the ocean at Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts, the annual holiday fundraiser offers two floors of family holiday fun and will be open to the public Saturday, November 19 through Sunday, December 4. Presented by Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, Sea Festival of Trees raises funds for local non-profits and is a fun holiday tradition for seacoast families. In 2015, the event yielded $75,000 in donations to Anna Jaques Hospital, the Salisbury Beach Partnership and the Salisbury Beach Betterment Association.
Close to 150 spectacular themed trees—many with holiday décor or gifts valued at up to $1,000 or more— are donated by regional businesses, civic organizations, elected officials, student groups, work colleagues, and individuals, who showcase their decorating talents for the benefit non-profit organizations. There is no fee to enter a tree; the tree and its adornments are considered the donation. A full list of donors is available upon request. The deadline for tree entry is November 5, 2016.
DAILY HAPPENINGS & HOURS AT THE SEA FESTIVAL OF TREES
Sea Festival of Trees will be open to the public Saturday, November 19 through Sunday, December 4 (see full schedule of hours at end). Admission to the holiday wonderland is $5. Tickets are sold at the
Blue Ocean Music Hall box office on a first-come, first-served basis daily during Sea Festival of Trees hours. Attendees have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets (a sheet of 25 raffle tickets is sold for $5) and enter to win the themed trees of their choosing. The following is included in daily admission:
Viewing of Approximately 150 Sparkling Trees & Designer Wreaths
Visitors will walk through a maze of beautifully decorated 4 foot to 10 foot-high artificial trees decorated with a breathtaking array of holiday colors and more than 75,000 twinkling lights. The trees, along with panoramic ocean views, form the centerpiece of Sea Festival of Trees.
Giant Gingerbread Beach Castle Display
New England’s largest whimsical confectionary creation, designed and hand-built by Newburyport resident Jim Shalkoski, will be on display in Blue Ocean Event Center lobby. This year’s giant gingerbread house features a whimsical beachside holiday village and Santa’s workshop with whimsical elves created from molded chocolates. The 8-foot by 8-foot sugary structure is constructed of edible gingerbread, candy, frosting and other colorful holiday sweets.
Seaside Winter Wonderland Ice Skating Rink
Blue Ocean Event Center’s indoor synthetic skating rink, Seaside Ice, offers free public skating with Festival admission. Skates rentals are available for children and adults. No hats, gloves and jackets required. Skate to holiday music with breathtaking views of the ocean on the newly expanded 1,800 square foot artificial ice rink.
Holiday Stage Entertainment
Regional musicians, dance troupes, choirs and artists will perform on stage in Blue Ocean Music Hall at various times throughout the Festival. Entertainers include New Hampshire Academy of the Performing Arts Dance Troupe, Bracken School of Irish Dance, Kadee’s Tumbleweed, choral groups and more. (Full schedule available soon.)
North Pole Cafe
The Blue Sky concession area on the upper level offers fresh sandwich wraps, homemade pizza, fruit cups, cookies, chips and a full bar. Patrons are invited to dine at café tables while enjoying panoramic views of the Atlantic from the Isle of Shoals to Cape Ann.
North Pole Gift & Candy Shoppe
The Festival’s North Pole Shoppe will be filled with delectable holiday candies, festive ornaments—including the 2016 commemorative Sea Festival of Trees ornament, and holiday gifts for purchase.
Sea Festival of Trees Special Events:
Spirits of Christmas Gala + Grand Tree Lighting
Friday, November 18 6:30pm-9:30pm Blue Ocean Event Center Tickets: $25 per person
A holiday FUNdraiser featuring the inaugural grand lighting of the 150+ trees and wreaths, announcement of 2016’s Tree Award winners and live music. Ticket includes food and dessert stations, and complimentary tastings by more than 12 beer, liquor and wine vendors. Tickets are available on-line at www.seafestivaloftrees.com or by calling the Blue Ocean box office at 978-462-5888.
2nd Annual Coastal Christmas Arts and Crafts Show
Saturday, November 19 10:00am-4:00pm Blue Ocean Music Hall
Find coastal inspired and beach themed gifts for all of your holiday gift giving hand crafted by local artisans–Sea Glass Jewelry & Art * Home Décor * Unique Beach-Combed Creations. Admission is free with purchase of Sea Festival of Trees admission.
NEW! Meet Official Red Sox Mascot Wally the Green Monster + Enter to Win a Signed David Ortiz Baseball
Sunday, November 20 11am-1pm
The Boston Red Sox beloved mascot is available for photos with fans on a first-come, first-served basis. Meet and greet participants will receive a signed Wally baseball trading card, compliments of the Festival.
Photos with Santa + North Pole Post Office
Saturdays and Sundays + Friday, November 25 Various Times
Donning his big red suit in a big red velvet chair, Santa poses for holiday photos. Visit with Santa and receive a candy cane. Children are also invited to write their wish list on the Festival’s special Santa Stationary and mail the letter in our authentic North Pole Express mailbox.
NEW! Sea Festival of Trees Mascot Sandy the Seagull, the Snow Queen + Roving Holiday Characters
Saturdays and Sundays + Friday, November 25 Various Times
Sandy the Seagull swoops in for a birds-eye view of the Festival and fun family photos. Festival-goers also meet roving characters, from Frosty the Snowman and the Green Grinch, to photos with the Snow Queen in front of the ice castle gates in the winter wonderland area.
Salisbury|Newbury|Rowley–Triton Night at Sea Festival of Trees
Tuesday, November 22 5:00pm-9:00pm
$3 admission for Triton town residents and students. Show proof of residency or school ID. Free cup of hot cocoa and a chocolate chip cookie for our hometown friends.
NEW! Amesbury Night at Sea Festival of Trees
Wednesday, November 23 5:00pm-9:00pm
$3 admission for Amesbury residents and students. Show proof of residency or school ID. Free cup of hot cocoa.
Seascape Creations Workshop
Saturday, November 26 11am-1 pm Wave Room at Blue Ocean Event Center $45pp
Create a one-of-a-kind window seascape using beach treasures—sea glass, shells, ceramic shards, sand, starfish and more. Artist Julie Gordon provides all supplies and instruction to inspire an 8 x 10 framed work of art to take home.
Rockin’ Into the Holidays Dance Party with Don’t Call Me Shirley
Saturday, November 26 9:00pm-Midnight Blue Ocean Music Hall $10
Kick-off the holidays with the region’s most sought after and unbelievably fun dance band. DCMS brings the party every time playing the classics and hits of today! For tickets, call the Blue Ocean box office at 978-462-5888.
Santa & The Grinch Holiday Brunch + Santa Arrival by Fire Truck
Sunday, November 27 10:00am-Noon Blue Ocean Music Hall
Sound the sirens and ring the bell! Santa arrives at brunch by fire truck on Sunday morning November 27 at 10am, courtesy of the Salisbury Fire Department. The jolly old fellow joins the fun inside for a Naughty and Nice brunch filled with music, activities, tableside visits and photos with Santa and the Grinch, a scavenger hunt, big screen movie, a Sweet & Sour Sundae Bar and more. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Blue Ocean Music Hall Box Office at 978-462-5888.
NEW! Hampton|Hampton Falls|North Hampton|Seabrook-Winnacunnet Night at Sea Festival of Trees
Monday, November 28 5:00pm-9:00pm
$3 admission for Hampton, Hampton Falls, North Hampton and Seabrook residents and students. Show proof of residency or school ID. Free cup of hot cocoa.
The Artist Bar presents Holiday Paint & Sip Party
Monday, November 28 7:00pm-9:00pm $45pp
As seen on ABC-TV Boston’s Chronicle, The Artist Bar is the North Shore’s premiere “paint and sip” experience. Led by Lowell, MA fine artist Jennifer Clement, participants will paint an original winter wonderland scene surrounded by sparkling Festival trees. Class includes hands-on instruction, canvas, paints and art supplies. Space is limited. Reservations can be made on-line at www.theartistbar.com. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Clement is donating an original winter wonderland-themed painting valued at $6,000 to the Sea Festival of Trees Showcase Raffle.]
NEW! Newburyport Night at Sea Festival of Trees
Tuesday, November 29 5:00pm-9:00pm
$3 admission for Newburyport residents and students. Show proof of residency or school ID. Free cup of hot cocoa.
NEW! Gingerbread Night Out
Tuesday, November 29 6:00pm-9:00pm $39.95 per person
Girls’ night out gingerbread house workshop features holiday passed hors d’oeuvres, drink tastings and chef demos all wrapped up in one fun event. Creative chefs will learn about holiday recipes and decorate a take-home gingerbread house. Instruction by our giant gingerbread house-maker, Jim Shalkoski. All candy and supplies included. Call 978-462-5800 for reservations.
Gary Hoey’s Ho Ho Hoey Rockin’ Holiday Show
Saturday, December 3 8:00pm Blue Ocean Music Hall $30-$40
Get into the Christmas spirit by rocking the Rock-n-roll Christmas classics with famed guitarist Gary Hoey. It’s a must see show for adults and kids alike. For tickets, call the Blue Ocean box office at 978-462-5888.
Polar Express Pajama Party Brunch
Sunday, December 4 10am-Noon Blue Ocean Music Hall $35pp
Sponsored by Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank
Pajama-clad children and adults take a land-based adventure through the endearing children’s book The Polar Express written by Chris Van Allsburg. Morning pajama party includes a full brunch, reading of The Polar Express book by a jovial conductor, Polar Express-themed scavenger hunt through the Sea Festival of Trees, rich and thick hot cocoa and homemade fudge brownies delivered by servers in white chef coats and hats, visit from Mr. Claus, and a keepsake silver bell for every child from Santa’s elves. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Blue Ocean Music Hall Box Office at 978-462-5888.
SEA FESTIVAL OF TREES HOURS (subject to change)
Saturday, November 19 10am-9pm
Sunday, November 20 11am-5pm
Monday, November 21 5pm-9pm
Tuesday, November 22 5pm-9pm
Wednesday, November 23 5pm-9pm
Thursday, November 24 CLOSED! Happy Thanksgiving
Friday, November 25 10am-9pm
Saturday, November 26 10am-9pm
Sunday, November 27 11am-5pm
Monday, November 28 5pm-9pm
Tuesday, November 29 5pm-9pm
Wednesday, November 30 5pm-9pm
Thursday, December 1 5pm-9pm
Friday, December 2 5pm-9pm
Saturday, December 3 10am-9pm
Sunday, December 4 10am-5pm Tree Raffle Winners Drawn 5pm
For updated information and a full schedule of events, visit www.seafestivaloftrees.com or call the Sea Festival of Trees hotline at 978-462-2512. To donate a tree, please complete a donor form (email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-465-2000 X121 or 978-808-3000.