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Festival of Trees kicks off Thanksgiving Weekend in Cashiers

By Kristin Fox

During Thanksgiving weekend, the Summit Charter School Foundation will kick off the holiday season with their third annual Cashiers Festival of Trees. This year’s festival will offer festive fun for all ages with plenty of decorated trees, shopping opportunities and holiday activities.

The 2023 Festival will take place on Friday, November 24 – Saturday, November 25, 2023, at the Summit Center, 370 Mitten Lane. Event times are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Cashiers Festival of Trees is a family-friendly event during Thanksgiving weekend featuring decorated trees, tabletop trees, wreaths, gift baskets, raffles, many paired with holiday experiences to bid on. The twoday festival will have lots of opportunities for holiday shopping. Entertainment will be featured throughout the two-day event.

Children will be delighted with all the holiday fun available at the festival including free crafts, a pop-up Build-A-Bear workshop made possible by Design South Builders, a Dolly Parton Imagination Library stage celebrating the world of books, and special time with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and your favorite Disney Princesses.

This annual event brings together families, friends, nonprofits, businesses, and individuals to celebrate the holiday season with one-of-a-kind shopping and programming for all ages. 

This year, the festival will have two new events — the Gameday Lounge, which will highlight football games in the new Gameday Lounge, and the Festival: After Dark, an enchanting nighttime party with jubilant lights, music, tapas, and libations.

A VIP Breakfast with Santa & Friends will take place on the morning of November 25 featuring a scrumptious menu from the culinary team of The Club at High Hampton. Tickets to this event and Festival: After Dark are available within benefactor packages and corporate sponsorships only.

Individual tickets can be purchased online and are available at Cashiers Farmers Market, Cashiers Valley Pharmacy, the Cashiers Chamber, the school’s front office, or Oakleaf in Highlands. Entry tickets are $5 and free for ages 18 and younger; entry tickets can be used for both days. 

For those that are unable to attend the festival but still want to help the school and community can makea 100% tax deductible donation today to The Giving Tree Fund or bid virtually the weekend of the festival.

In 2021, the Summit Charter School Foundation started the fundraising event to benefit the school and other nonprofits across the Cashiers-Highlands plateau.

While raising vital funds for the school is the primary focus of the event, the Summit Charter SchoolFoundation spreads the holiday spirit of giving: when a fellow nonprofit decorates a tree or wreath, 80% of the item’s sale will go back to the participating nonprofit, creating a collaborative initiative to benefit fellow charities and their worthy causes. Supporting the entire community is very important to the cause and the school’s overall mission.  

2023 Cashiers Festival of Trees Schedule of Events:

Friday, November 24
10:00 a.m. — Doors open to the public
11:00 a.m. — Storytime with the Albert-Carlton Library on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library StageSponsored by McKee Properties
Noon – 4:00 p.m. — Christmas Photo Booth Pop UpSponsored by Slab Town Pizza and Cashiers Smokehouse
5:00 p.m. — Doors close

7:00 – 10:00 p.m. — Festival: After Dark (By Invitation Only. Benefactor and Corporate Sponsor Event)Sponsored by Widespread Logistics and Crossroads Property Management

Saturday, November 259:00 – 10:00 a.m.
VIP Breakfast with Santa & Friends (By Invitation Only. Benefactor and Corporate Sponsor Event)Sponsored by The Club at High Hampton

10:00 a.m. — Doors open to the public and “Buy it Now” goes live on silent auction items 

10:00 a.m. – NoonSanta and Mrs. Claus

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Isabelle Ambrose Jewelry Pop Up Shop
11:00 a.m.Piano Performance by Summit Student Josephine Tyre

1:00 p.m.Storytime with the Albert-Carlton Library on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Stage

Sponsored by McKee Properties

1:30 p.m. — Bluegrass Performance by John Warren and Benny Queen
2:30 p.m. — Musical Performance by Smoky Mountain Student Ella Ledford

3:30 p.m. — Trumpet Performance by Summit Teacher Jesse Loyd
4:00 p.m. — Silent Auction Close

5:00 p.m. — Doors Close

Happening all open hours: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Gameday Lounge, children crafts, silent auction, shopping, glass blowing and blacksmith demos, artisans, Booster Club concessions

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