HomeMedford NewsMedford Town Council Supports Proposed Festival of Trees

Medford Town Council Supports Proposed Festival of Trees


After a proposal from a resident suggested that a new festival, the Festival of Trees, be held at Cranberry Hall during the holiday season, the Medford Town Council last week discussed its support of the prospective event and what it could do to help.

“Their idea is to accompany this with recycling and make it a community event. Have a one-day event where children and different organizations come out, hold it at Cranberry Hall and have them make decorations out of recycled materials to decorate these trees,” Township Manager Kathy Burger said. “We’ll get trees donated and we’ll put them around the gazebo, and they will be lighted through about a week before the holiday and then they will be given to people in need.”

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Organizers of the event expect anywhere from 20 to 30 trees to be donated and decorated as part of this festival, and they will be on display at the Dickens Festival, an event held on the evening of the first Saturday in December where downtown Main Street closes to transform visitors to Christmas time in old England in the days of Charles Dickens. Council said the gazebo at Cranberry Hall is the best place to show off the trees, seeing as there are sufficient outlets there, eliminating the need for excessive extension cords.

“We talked about Still Park and Freedom Park, but decided to start [at Cranberry Hall] to give some ambiance to Main Street, and walking traffic will be able to partake and look at [the trees] throughout the week and so that it’s also there for the Dickens Festival,” Burger said.

At last week’s council meeting, Mayor Jeffrey Beenstock voiced one concern — whether there is enough room for the number of trees expected. Burger said she believed there is with the way the Hall extends back to the parking lot and behind the Medford Arts Center.

“It seems like a nice way for the community to come together around the holidays,” Beenstock said. “Another example of what we do well.”

So far, the Pinelands Garden Club has expressed its support for the proposed festival and has committed to assist with the event. Burger also plans to reach out to the Medford Arts Center and see if it would be interested in participating, an idea discussed at the most recent Neighborhood Services Advisory Committee meeting.

As far as what the event would request of town council, the proposal requests it not only permit the use of Cranberry Hall, but members possibly participate in decorating a tree as well. The event would also require the town to support the electric for the lighting of the trees.

The coordinator for this event, Janna Giardina, initially talked to Judy Scherf, CRP, the town’s administrative assistant and recycling and clean community coordinator, about the recycling funds available and about using this event as an educational piece for children.

Councilmembers expressed their support and approval of the decision to move forward with the idea for this event, and Councilman Brad Denn joked to Burger, “More important than the council, did you get Santa’s approval?”


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