Tuxes & Trees: Annual Tree Festival Heads To New Location

The annual Festival of Trees is heading downtown and moving to a sparkling new location – the Wheeling Artisan Center – for the 24th edition of the popular holiday tradition.

To open the festivities, a Festival of Trees/Crafts 2000 Tuxes and Trees Gala dinner-dance will take place on the third floor of the Artisan Center, located at 14th and Main streets, at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12.

The week-long festival benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upper Ohio Valley, a United Way agency. The nonprofit organization matches adult volunteers with “little” brothers or sisters in the community and provides other services to at-risk children and their families.

Not only will guests to the black-tie optional gala have an elegant evening of dinner and dancing, but also they will have the first opportunity to purchase professionally decorated Christmas trees and other holiday decor. The trees will remain on display throughout the festival. Any unsold trees from the gala also will be available for purchase.

Festival of Trees committee members Ted and Molly Williams are chairmen for the Tuxes and Trees Gala. The event is named in honor of the Ohio Valley Mall’s Crafts 2000 store, which is sponsoring the trees for the festival.

Guests arriving at the gala may utilize free valet parking. The event will begin with a champagne reception in the center’s atrium. On the third floor, dinner, the tree sale and dancing will await the guests.

The dinner menu will include a steamship round of beef, salmon, green beans and red peppers, red-skinned potatoes, penne with olive oil and garlic, salad and rolls. The Cookie Jar will be serving dessert. An open bar will be offered.

Tickets to the dinner-dance are available for couples and individuals. Seating is limited. Paid reservations are required by either sending a check to Festival of Trees, 96 14th St., Wheeling, WV 26003 or by calling Big Brothers Big Sisters at 304-232-0520. Credit cards are accepted.

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Continuing a tradition, a full week of activities to appeal to all ages is slated during the Festival of Trees. Admission is charged for the festival which is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, through Saturday, Nov. 20, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21, the final day of the event.

Special events require paid reservations, unless otherwise noted. All reservations may be made by sending a check to Festival of Trees, 96 14th St., Wheeling, WV 26003 or by calling 304-232-0520. Credit cards are accepted.

Special events are planned on these days:

  • Saturday, Nov. 13 – Dress-A-Bear Breakfast, with Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, two seatings, 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., special charge for children and adults.
  • Saturday, Nov. 13 – Visitors may bring their cameras to take their family Christmas card photos among the trees from noon to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 14 – Mother-Daughter Victorian Tea, three seatings, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., special charge for children and adults.
  • Monday, Nov. 15 – Times-Leader Holiday Traditions Cookbook finals, 5:30 p.m., with appetizers presented by the Bishop Donahue High School culinary arts department, sponsored by West Virginia Northern Community College’s culinary arts department, charge payable at the door.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16 – Senior Day, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16 – Italian Night, 6 p.m., prepared by the Sons of Italy Bellaire Lodge, sponsored by Wheeling Hospital, charge.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 17 – Greek Night, 6 p.m., array of appetizers presented by Ye Olde Alpha, charge payable at the door.
  • Thursday, Nov. 18 – Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5-7 p.m., private event.
  • Friday, Nov. 19 – Dessert Bar before and after the Fantasy in Lights parade, 4-8 p.m., charge payable at the door.
  • Saturday, Nov 20 – Teddy Bear Disco with Jim Connor, 1-3 p.m., charge payable at the door.
  • Saturday, Nov 20 – wine tasting and cooking demonstration, 7:30-10 p.m., charge.
  • Sunday, Nov. 21 – Festival opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m.