Tree Festival returns to Ridgefield’s Lounsbury House with COVID modification

RIDGEFIELD — Lounsbury House’s bi-annual Tree Festival has returned for its 20th year in a modified fashion.

Through Dec. 6, visitors to the town’s historic community center can get into the holiday spirit by feasting their eyes on dozens of Christmas trees decorated by community partners.

The event typically invites residents inside the building to get a closer look at the decorative displays, but this year visitors must observe the trees from the house’s outdoor wraparound veranda, which peers into the first floor. Executive Director Suzanne Brennan said the modification is due to “COVID-related concerns.”

“We want to be respectful of everyone’s level of confidence; this is also for the younger people in the community who are on their way to being vaccinated,” she said. “Although we’re not holding the festival in its full format for this year, it’ll be just as exciting and celebratory.”

The festival serves as a fundraiser for Lounsbury House, which, despite being a town-owned building, is not supported by taxpayer dollars. The site is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and predominantly sustains itself through event profits, membership fees and donations from community members.

Almost two dozen local organizations are participating in this year’s Tree Festival; their displays can be viewed through the windows on the first floor. Residents can visit the trees daily between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. and are encouraged to vote for their favorites at www.lounsburyhouse.org. A $25 donation is required for each vote.

“We’re looking to celebrate in the most responsible way possible and reach people any time of day that’s convenient for them,” Brennan said. “All monies raised will help support preservation and programming at the house.”

The trees will be available for purchase following the event, and ribbons for first, second and third place will be awarded to the participants with the highest number of votes.

Participating decorators

A Contemporary Theatre of Connecticut

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Barbara Queirolo

Caudatowa Garden Club

Confetti Floral Designs

Jill Rae Designs

Lounsbury House

Molly Hirsch Interiors

National Charity League - Ridgefield Chapter

The Prospector Theater

Ridgefield Guild of Artists

The Ridgefield Playhouse

Ridgefield Theater Barn

Ridgefield Woman's Club

The Tweaked Home

“It’s lots of fun recognition for the different organizations in town,” Brennan explained. “Some of the trees arrived already decorated, others arrived partially decorated and were then finessed here on site — I think it brings out the best in everyone.”

Lounsbury House’s Director of Operations Christina Collura is chairing the event. It is sponsored by Karla Murtaugh Homes, the Bishop Family and M&T Bank with support from Barts Tree Service, Jill Rae Design, Purple Heather Floral Design and Olley Court.

Brennan recommends festival goers travel up the street to shop and dine in Ridgefield’s downtown after paying a visit to Lounsbury House.

“Just celebrate everything that this community has to offer,” she said. “This is really a glittering wonderland, and a great way to kick off the magic of the season.”

For more information about this year’s Tree Festival, visit www.lounsburyhouse.org.

alyssa.seidman@hearstmediact.com