In recent years, CASA of the Parkland has begun a tradition of helping to kick off the Christmas season with its Festival of Trees that will once again be on display from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 25-26, at Farmington's Centene Center.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. The mission of CASA of the Parkland is to recruit, train, and support community volunteers who assist the court in protecting the best interests of abused and neglected children in Missouri's 24th Circuit, made up of Madison, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, and Washington counties.
According to Executive Director JoAnna Watts, all of the Christmas trees and gingerbread houses will be up for auction through Saturday night.
“We are definitely expanding this year,” she said. “We have the seven-foot-six-inch Christmas trees and tabletop trees. We are adding wreaths and some beautiful art from local artists for the online auction.
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“We will have a gingerbread village that is also a competition. The first place winner will receive $500 cash and a gingerbread trophy with second and third place also having cash prizes. Entries must be turned in to the Centene Center by Nov. 22 with a $30 entry fee.”
There will be a Vendor Village with local businesses having Christmas items for gifting. The city of Farmington has a Christmas Village that will be on display and there will be free children’s activities such as ornament making and letter writing to Santa.
Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will make an appearance from 2-5 p.m Friday. The jazz ensemble from the Mineral Area Fine Arts Academy will perform on Friday and give several performances on Saturday.
The online bidding starts at noon Thanksgiving Day and ends at 7 p.m. Saturday. Items purchased from the auction can be picked up between 8 and 9 p.m. Saturday or after 1 p.m Sunday. For the winners of bids on the seven-foot-six-inch Christmas trees, CASA will provide free delivery up to 20 miles from the Centene Center.
Watts explained that the event is to raise funds for CASA of the Parkland.
“All the money that is raised goes directly to the program so we advocate for more children,” she said.
The online auction will be at www.32auctions.com/casafestivaloftrees2022.
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org