Alaqua hits a home run at Festival of Trees (PHOTOS)

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 04:22 PM.

This year's Festival of Trees at Grand Boulevard was unveiled last week and it is possibly the most awe-inspiring yet. This is the fest's fourth year.

For the fourth year, charities competed in a Christmas tree decorating contest. The tree decorators got hugely creative this year, especially in the case of the two winners: Alaqua Animal Refuge and Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation.

Alaqua took first place in the judges' votes and people's choice. DCWAF took second in the judges' votes. The last win for Alaqua was the festival's first year, when the organization took People's Choice.

Judging was based on visual impact, creativity, how well it reflects the organization's mission, and overall impression.

Judges thought those two organizations hit it out of the park on those points.

AAR founder Laurie Hood said she can take no credit for the win as it was orchestrated by her friend and Refuge volunteer Laurie Kelly and her husband, Brant, who designed and worked on the display for weeks.

The Kellys made fencing, which they placed around the back of the tree, and cut out dogs, cats, and horses, and placed bales of hay around the base.

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