Festival of Trees Kickoff 2023
Escape the cold at Jingle Mingle, if only briefly, and warm up with a cup of cocoa or cider at the kickoff of the City of Gainesville’s fourth annual Festival of Trees event.
Happening simultaneously with Main Street Gainesville’s Jingle Mingle and the Lighting of the Chicken, the 2023 Festival of Trees grand reveal is slated for 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, on the first floor of the Gainesville Administration Building, located at 300 Henry Ward Way.
The City of Gainesville organizes the annual Festival of Trees, which has grown every holiday season since introduced in 2020.
The Festival of Trees is a public display of themed Christmas trees decorated by City of Gainesville departments on the first floor of the Gainesville Administration Building. The kickoff event will be a reveal of the 2023 display, elevated by a photo backdrop for visitors to snap family photos, plus cups of piping hot chocolate and apple cider, and Christmas cookies.
While you're here, the City encourages visitors to vote for their favorite Christmas trees (during Jingle Mingle only) to choose the winning department. Themes featured in the Festival of Trees change every year and City departments engage in friendly competition hoping to collect the highest number of votes from the public.
Though voting only happens Saturday, Nov. 18, visitors may observe and photograph the trees any time from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Participating departments include those based in the admin building: City Manager's Office, Communications + Tourism, Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, Public Works and Water Resources.
Join the City of Gainesville from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, on the first floor of the Gainesville Administration Building, located at 300 Henry Ward Way.
City staff will be located in The Station, positioned at the end of the hallway/row of Christmas trees. After casting their votes and taking advantage of the photo backdrop, visitors can take a seat, enjoy their treats and warm up before returning to the Jingle Mingle festivities on the historic and Roosevelt squares in downtown Gainesville – just don’t miss the Lighting of the Chicken outside Main Street Market at 6:45 p.m.!
Why not!? The Festival of Trees came about as City leadership brainstormed ways to restore the holiday spirit following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The small gesture had a BIG impact, and the display continues to attract visitors year after year.
Those who can’t make it to the kick-off event Saturday, Nov. 18, may view the trees at the admin building during regular operating hours – 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. In observance of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, City administrative offices will be closed Thursday-Friday, Nov. 23-24, and Friday, Dec. 22 and Monday, Dec. 25. Departments will dismantle trees after Christmas.
Please note parking outside the admin building is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Find free and covered parking at any one of the following downtown parking decks, all located within walking distance to the holiday fun: Main Street Parking Deck, 301 Main St.; Gainesville North Parking Deck, 100 Brenau Ave.; and Hall County Parking Facility, 225 Green St.