Starkville’s Festival of Trees opens with gala Thursday

November 7, 2009 10:25:00 PM



The second annual Festival of Trees, benefiting United Way of North Central Mississippi, opens Thursday with a Holiday Party and Auction in the Palmeiro Center on Mississippi State University''s campus. Last year, more than $20,000 was raised during this multi-event festival. For 2009, a new venue, more events, and increased participation promise an even better year. 


Co-chaired by MSU Athletic Director Greg Byrne and his wife, Regina, the festival, which will last until Nov. 21, features displays of beautifully-decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, hand-painted platters, a gingerbread village and other one-of-a kind items available for purchase through live and silent auctions at the 7 p.m. event Nov. 12. Cost to attend is $40. To purchase tickets or for other information, go to, or contact Regina Byrne at 662-617-1711. 


Another festival highlight is Ladies Night Tuesday, Nov. 17. This 7 p.m. event features food by Chef Ty Thames of Restaurant Tyler, wine tastings and pairings by the Savvy Grape, a wreath-making display by Occasions and Christmas table-setting advice and demonstrations by Rubye Guest.  


On Saturday, Nov. 21, Breakfast with Santa takes place from 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. Children can visit with Santa, have photos made, make a craft to take home and enjoy breakfast by area restaurants. 


The festival display will be open to the public Sunday, Nov. 15, from noon-6 p.m., and Friday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Suggested donation is $5.