Tree Festival opens at Lounsbury House next week

The 18th Biennial Tree Festival opens at Lounsbury House with a champagne preview party on Thursday, Nov. 16, before opening to the public on Nov. 17. The festival benefits the preservation and operation of historic Lounsbury House and features the Holiday Boutique, a carefully curated selection of unique gifts and holiday décor.

The Lounsbury House Women’s Committee invited seasoned professional and talented amateur designers from Fairfield County, Westchester County, and beyond to decorate trees. Each designer was provided with a tree ranging from four to six-and-a-half feet in height, but given carte blanche to trim their tree. A few designers opted to provide their own tree. Trees will wind through the rooms, hallways and grand staircase at Lounsbury House, transforming the landmark building into an elegant winter wonderland.

“Our Tree Festival shepherds in the holidays,” says Belinda Lasky, Executive Director of Lounsbury House, “but it’s also a celebration of the incredible talent and the spirit of whimsy that exists in this area. We’ve exhibited trees trimmed in traditional silver-and-gold, and trees resembling the skirt of a ball gown. It’s exciting, inspiring, and – since each tree is for sale – an easy way to get your home ready for Christmas.”

The Unique Holiday Boutique will run concurrent with the Tree FestivalNov. 17-19, and sell jewelry, home décor, objets d’art, and a host of other gift options. Women’s Committee president Jenn Kubick, along with Tiffany Brooks, Laura Brennan, Ann Sinnott, Jill Rae and the rest of the committee carefully selected items that would appeal to the taste of nearby residents.

Trees entered into the Festival will be judged during the Champagne Preview Party at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16. Judges include local philathropist Caroline Kellen who holds a degree in fine arts from Skidmore College. Ms. Kellen has taught Art at the Dwight School in NYC, been an art apprentice to Maureen Gallace for more than ten years, and has furthered her studies in painting, photography and industrial design at NYU. Her entry won “Most Artistic” during the 2015 Tree Festival. Ruth Loisseau, a master floral designer who served at the White House for more than 28 years, will also judge. Ms. Loiseau owns and operates, RuthL, RuthL Organics, Fleur De La Vie and Couture Flowers Magazine and lectures throughout the country on the art of floral and interior design. Entrpreneur Nora Murphy will round out the judges’ panel. Ms. Murphy studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, after which she founded Balogh Murphy Renderings, a residential design studio, before going on to work for Polo Ralph Lauren Home Collection and Ethan Allen. In 2011, she launched Nora Murphy Country House, a lifestyle brand focused on decorating, gardening and entertaining.

Tree Festival and Holiday Boutique hours are Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m .to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets to the festival are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for children. Admission to the Champagne Preview Party on Thursday, Nov. 16, is $50. All tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 203-438-6962.