Grand Boulevard kicks off season with Festival of Trees

Published: Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM.

Grand Boulevard is kicking off the holiday season in its usual grand style Nov. 26 with its annual ceremonial lighting of a dozen trees in its Grand Park .

This Festival of Trees is more than just evergreens with lights, however, but a fun family event that also offers area charitable organizations the opportunity to broaden their informational reach and possibly win money at the same time.

Grand Boulevard gave 12 non-profit organizations $250 to put their decorating skills on the line and go shopping for decorations to adorn their individual trees and make them stand out.

This year’s participating organizations are Alaqua Animal Refuge, Building Homes for Heroes, Children in Crisis, Children's Volunteer Health Network, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center, Emerald Coast Relay for Life, Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, Guardian Ad Litem, Junior League of the Emerald Coast, OASIS of Northwest Florida, and Shelter House.

"The organizations really go all out with artistry," said Stacey Brady, director of marketing and public relations for Grand Boulevard . "It's a great way to kick off the holidays and Christmas spirit.”

The 12 non-profits will be competing to possibly win $4,000 for their respective organizations.

The results will be judged Nov. 26 by a panel of nine local judges who will award first and second-place prizes. The winner takes home $2,000, and second place is awarded $1,000 for its organization.

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