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Tree & Wreath Donor FAQ

Tree & Wreath Donors - Frequently asked questions

When and where is the 2021 Festival of Trees?


The 2021 Lawrence Festival of Trees will be held Monday, 11/29/2021 through Sunday, 12/5/2021 at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts Street. Viewing hours will be announced soon. Reservations may be required for viewing hours due to COVID-19 community mitigation strategies, and we will make the reservation process as simple and accessible as possible! More information will be available soon.




What are the guidelines for donated trees and wreaths?


Donor guidelines: 1. Trees must not be taller than 7 feet. 2. All decorations must be securely wired to the tree or wreath. 3. Must have working lights (optional for wreaths). 4. All trees must have a tree skirt. 5. Due to COVID-19, we'll have designated times for tree and wreath drop off and set up. We will allow you and four others to briung your tree or wreath to Liberty Hall during your designated time.




Why are trees restricted to less than 7' high?


Trees must fit in the moving vans generously provided by our wonderful delivery day partners from Professional Moving & Storage. We also want to make sure trees fit through a traditional doorway. We are able to take a few larger trees each year, so please reach out to the planning committee at festival@theshelterinc.org if your project may top that height.




I'm considering donating a live tree, what do I need to know?


Trees need to be able to survive under hot theater lights for seven days. We may call on you to assist with watering throughout the week. Delivering live trees is also challenging for our volunteers as they are much heavier than artificial trees, so so you may be required to help deliver your tree to the buyer.




May I deliver my tree to its buyer?


Yes! Tree wrapping and delivery is handled by volunteers, who will take the best care possible of your tree, but if your tree is especially fragile, heavy, or has intricate setup instructions, we would love your assistance in getting it to the buyer’s final destination. Just let us know in your profile form and on setup day if this is your plan. The trees and wreaths will be wrapped after viewing hours close on Sunday, 12/5/21 and delivered or picked up on Monday, 12/6/21.




How can I make sure my tree or wreath gets to its buyer in good condition?


When you bring your tree into Liberty Hall on setup day, we have 40+ teams that are each responsible for their individual donation. On delivery day we have the opposite, three or four teams each assigned to a delivery truck full of trees, each truck driver paired with volunteers who run them in to houses or businesses. We work efficiently and carefully, but accidents do happen. This is why we ask that everything on the tree is wired on securely, and that we have an inventory of anything that isn't attached (detachable toppers, anything under the tree, etc). Remember, you may deliver your own tree if you prefer and you may be asked to at least assist with delivery if it is especially fragile or heavy.




What will Setup Day look like in light of COVID-19?


We will be giving each donor a time slot to drop off and set up their entries this year. We ask that each team confine themselves to the assigned period. It is more important than ever this year that your donation be largely completed before delivery to Liberty Hall, and for setup day to truly be used for “finishing touches.” We will be working hard to ensure everyone can deliver their items in a safe and timely manner. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to provide a buffet this year though Liberty Hall will have their concession stand open if you’d like to purchase a snack or beverage. Masks are required inside Liberty Hall.




We have time on Setup Day to Decorate, I'll just do it then.


Please don't! We highly encourage donors to bring their tree to Liberty Hall decorated, and just apply final touches on site. In our experience, the trees and wreaths that are most successful take careful planning and time to make the tree look great and, equally important, make sure it travels well!




My tree has several parts or props, will they stay with it when it gets delivered?


If your tree has a topper that gets removed, several parts under the tree, or any other moveable pieces or special instructions, please complete an inventory sheet on setup day. A Festival committee member will help you with check-out before you leave on setup day, please review the inventory sheet and special instructions with them.

PLEASE NOTE: volunteers will wrap your tree and other volunteers will deliver your tree. They may not have seen your tree before. While we do our best to communicate the specific needs of each tree, it's important we make this as straightforward as possible so all items end up in the right place and with the right tree.




I have an idea for a donation, but it's not a traditional Christmas tree. Do you take other items?


We’d love to talk to you about it! We have a “nontraditional” tree category and encourage our donors to “think outside the tree.” Space is an issue for the lineup, so we will need to know early on about the dimensions of your project, and it will need to be holiday themed. Check out our Facebook photo albums for some examples of some great nontraditional “trees” we’ve seen in years past.