Festival of Trees
UPDATE: Museum of Coastal Carolina announces the winners of its 4th Annual Festival of Trees.
Thanks to a record-breaking number of Festival of Trees sponsors, 19 trees elaborately decorated by local businesses and nonprofits, and a variety of museum holiday events and programs, 2,783 visitors visited the Museum of Coastal Carolina during the holiday season.
Museum visitors cast nearly 1,800 votes for their favorite trees and participated in silent auction bidding that raised a total of nearly $3,100 for causes the tree sponsors designated. The “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” tree, designed by The GPS Store, received the highest bid, and proceeds were donated to Hope Harbor Home, Inc. Each tree’s highest bidder took possession of their decorated trees once the festival concluded on December 31.
Kenneth Gore, of American Legion Post 550 in Shallotte, decorated a tree called “Celebrating American Veterans,” and it received the most votes as museum visitors’ favorite. Handmade ornaments, gold star lights and threads honored the men and women who have died for our country. Brunswick County veteran Kenneth A. Gore, who died at age 18 while serving in Vietnam, was pictured at the bottom of the tree. Eleven ornaments honoring veterans from the Legion post’s families were given to the veterans’ families. Proceeds from the winning tree’s silent auction bidding will fund Post 550’s continuing mission of supporting and honoring all veterans from the American Revolution through the war in Afghanistan.
Nineteen sponsors showcase creative tree decor and support great causes through at Museum of Coastal Carolina.
Museum of Coastal Carolina’s 4th annual Festival of Trees, going on now through December 31, transforms the museum into a magical Christmas wonderland, provides a family-friendly holiday activity, fosters friendly competition among 19 tree sponsors and provides opportunities to increase community awareness of impactful causes.
When you visit the museum, you will receive a ballot to vote for your favorite tree. If you want to increase your preferred trees’ chances of winning, you can purchase additional ballots. Decorated trees are also silent auction items, and all visitors are encouraged to bid. The highest bidders will take possession of decorated trees once the festival concludes. The winner of the favorite tree contest will be announced on December 23.
The trees were artfully decorated by the following businesses and nonprofits:
• Blondiez Donuts
o Tree theme – Blondiez Donuts – Pinks, blues, sprinkles and all things sweet make this tree a special Christmas treat.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Brunswick Family Assistance
• Brick Landing Women’s Club
o Tree theme – A North Carolina Holiday honors our state by highlighting stunning state birds and the state tree, the long leaf pine.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Brick Landing Women’s Club’s continuing efforts to organize charitable activities for area causes
• Coastal Carolina First Responders Association (CCFRA)
o Tree theme – Santa’s Community Helpers celebrates first responders – very special helpers who support their communities 24/7.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – 9/11 memorial in the Town of Ocean Isle Beach Town Center Park Phase 2
• Coastal Carolina Lighting
o Tree theme – The Nutcracker shines the light on a beloved Christmas ballet.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Coastal Carolina Lighting’s Veteran Christmas Program
• General Federation of Women’s Clubs-South Brunswick Islands (GFWC-SBI
o Tree theme – We Soar Together will make holiday spirits soar.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – GFWC-SBI
• Gina Gore, Real Estate Professional
o Tree theme – Thank you, Emergency Services celebrates EMS, fire, rescue, and first responders.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Specialized Rescue Mark Gore Memorial Fund c/o Grissettown-Longwood Fire Rescue in memory of tree sponsor’s husband
• Heather Buckley
o Tree theme – Every ornament on the Heartfelt and Handmade tree was handcrafted by Ocean Isle Beach homeowner Heather Buckley.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Museum of Coastal Carolina
• Intracoastal Realty
o Tree theme – Helping clients find their southeastern North Carolina home for over 47 years inspired the Home for the Holidays tree.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Christian Recovery Centers, Inc.
• Kenneth Gore American Legion Post 550 – Shallotte, NC
o Tree theme – Celebrating American Veterans – Handmade ornaments, the gold star’s lights and threads honor men and women who have died for our country. Brunswick County veteran Kenneth A. Gore, who died at age 18 while serving in Vietnam, is pictured at the bottom of the tree.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – American Legion Post 550’s continuing mission of supporting and honoring all veterans from the American Revolution through the war in Afghanistan
• Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization
o Tree theme – Picture This: Sea Turtle Season 2023 honors 200+ dedicated volunteers.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Ocean Isle Sea Turtle Protection Organization
• Ocean Isle Museum Foundation Volunteers
o Tree theme – Stars from the sky and stars from the sea sparkle and shine on the See Stars, Sea Stars tree.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Museum of Coastal Carolina’s Volunteer Association
• Ocean Isle Property Owners Association
o Tree theme – Margaritaville honors the coastal lifestyle late musician and singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffet’s music celebrates.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Ocean Isle Property Owners Association
• Old Bridge Historical Society
o Tree theme – Bikes at the Old Bridge celebrates bikes, a restored pontoon swing bridge that became a museum and the balance that learning from history can provide.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Old Bridge Historical Society
• Picture Van Go
o Tree theme – With its fun and flamboyant flamingo-themed tree and interactive photographic experiences, Picture Van Go proclaims, “We Make You Smile.”
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
• Storybook Trips
o Tree theme – “The Gift of Travel” tree is inspired by excursions to 11 countries and 16 states.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Oak Island Sea Turtle Protection Program
• Studio enVoyage
o Tree theme – With the “Voyaging thru the Stars!” tree, sailor, artist and educator Captain Suz and her crew lead a small craft vessel’s journey through a sea of stars.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – STEAM programming at the Museum of Coastal Carolina
• Sunset Vision
o Tree theme – “Santa’s Mailbox” highlights a program that maintains a collection site for letters mailed to Santa at the Sunset Beach Old Bridge and makes sure Santa answers every letter.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Sunset Vision
• The GPS Store
o Tree theme – Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour tree wishes all Swifties a Merry Swiftmas.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Hope Harbor Home Inc.
• Two Oaks Nursery
o Tree theme – “The NORTH POLE Greenhouse and Nursery” tree encompasses everything gardening, blossoming with seeds, flowers, trees, gardening tools and all-important pollinators.
o Recipient of silent auction proceeds – Lower Cape Fear Life Care’s Veterans Memorial Garden at the SECU Hospice House of Brunswick
Want to go?
Festival of Trees
Through December 31
Museum of Coastal Carolina, 21 E. Second Street, Ocean Isle Beach
Festival of Trees admission is free with museum admission: $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $8 for children 3-12.
The Festival of Trees is open to the public Thursday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday, Noon to 4:00 pm except for Dec. 24.