GAINESVILLE, Ga. (Dec. 8, 2022) – Christmas is around the corner and to spread a little holiday merriment, the City of Gainesville is hosting its third annual Festival of Trees (formerly known as the Gainesville Administration Building Christmas Tree Decorating Contest).
Departments located in the admin building have each decorated a tree, all of which are on display now through the New Year at the south entrance, which opens onto the first-floor Gainesville Visitor Center. The admin building is open to the public from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.
The idea to display the trees for visitors’ and City staff’s enjoyment was that of Assistant City Manager Angela Sheppard.
“We learned early on during the inaugural contest that the trees are well loved, not only by City employees and their families, but by those who come in seeking information about the City, to conduct general business – even those who stop in this time of year to renew business licenses and pay property taxes,” she said. “It’s especially exciting to see people’s faces light up who knew nothing about them beforehand – for them to walk in and be greeted by these wonderfully decorated trees that City staff imagined and executed themselves. It’s that kind of reaction, to me, that keeps the holiday spirit alive. We love seeing visitors stop to get a closer look at the ornaments, photograph the trees, etc. It’s a special thing for a government building, even if only for a few weeks, to be able to spread that kind of holiday magic.”
Current themes include Winter Wonderland, a nod to Gainesville Fire and Police departments, "Star Wars" and "The Nutcracker" ballet, among others.
In observance of the Christmas holiday, City administrative offices will be closed Friday, Dec. 23-Monday, Dec. 26. For New Year's, offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. The trees will remain up until Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.