13th Annual Festival of Trees

Festival of Trees 2021
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MINT HILL, NC – The 13th annual Festival of Trees is about to draw to a close at Novant Health Matthews Medical Center!  An annual fundraiser for several non-profit organizations in the Matthews community, the Festival of Trees fills the hospital lobby with holidays trees brilliantly decorated by individuals, businesses, churches and organizations.

For over a decade, Novant Health Matthews Medical Center’s Tree Lighting Ceremony has been a beloved community event.  Prior to COVID, crowds packed the lobby not only to see the trees lit up for the first time but also to enjoy carols, cookies and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who always stay as long as it takes to see every child in line.

Festival of Trees 2021
Festival of Trees 2021

Determined to continue the tradition during a challenging time, Novant Health Matthews took the Festival of Trees virtual in 2020.  With COVID still a concern this winter, the hospital was unable to hold an in-person tree lighting ceremony, but Novant Health Matthews is thrilled to welcome visitors to its lobby once again to view the decorated trees.

“This past year was challenging as we looked around to empty corridors during the same event,” said Novant Health Matthews Medical Center President and COO Jason Bernd in the virtual tree lighting video, “but you continued to support us and ensure that our healthcare heroes, patients, and their loved ones still had a joyful holiday through last year’s virtual Festival of the Trees.  I can’t tell you how delighted we are to bring the community back to our facility to enjoy this beautiful extravaganza of creativity and holiday spirit.” 

The train is running around the "big tree" in the lobby.
The train is running around the “big tree” in the lobby.

Visitors to the lobby will see a smaller Festival this year with about 25 trees on display.  The “big tree” is up and lit, and the train set is running.  Mr. and Mrs. Claus were disappointed to have to decline this year so they can stay healthy for the holiday, but they’re hoping to return in 2022.

Through December 13, over half of the trees on display were up for auction online.  All the funds raised through the auction go to support Novant Health’s not-for-profit community partners: Matthews HELP Center, Matthews Free Medical Clinic, COS Kids, and Levine Senior Center.

Masks are required in the hospital.

Anyone is welcome to visit Novant Health Matthews Medical Center and view the trees from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm daily.  Trees not auctioned will remain in the lobby through December 26.  COVID screenings and masks are required for entry to the hospital.  For more information, visit novanthealth.org/treefestival.

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her eight-year-old daughter Hannah and her six-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: marybeth@minthilltimes.com