Thousands of guests will experience the magic of the 29th Festival of Trees Nov. 16-18 at the South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais St., Columbia. The fundraising event will feature a silent auction of decorated trees, wreaths, menorahs and gifts. On Nov. 16, an exclusive, black-tie Auction Preview will be held at the South Carolina State Museum. Guests will have an exclusive first opportunity to bid on auction items, enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres by Blue Marlin Signature Catering and cocktails, as well as visit with Santa who will be available for photos. Festival of Trees Auction Preview reservations, $125 each, can be made at FestivalofTreesColumbia.org through noon on Nov. 15.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, “Santa & Me” will be held at the South Carolina State Museum. For a donation of $30, a child will work with the Mad Platter team to create a "Dear Santa" plate or a dreidel plate featuring the child's handprint. Advance reservations for Santa & Me are suggested and can be made at FestivalofTreesColumbia.org.
On Sunday, Nov. 18, the silent auction will continue, and families will enjoy holiday entertainment from local choirs, dance groups, photos with Santa and the popular “Mascot Madness Parade” at 1 p.m. The silent auction will close on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Proceeds from all Festival of Trees activities will benefit Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.