The Heartbeat of Haverhill

Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA

Oh! Christmas Tree! Haverhill Festival of Trees is Tops!

IMG_2199 Haverhill 2013 Festival of TreesIt’s pretty challenging to craft a photo journalistic piece on Haverhill’s Festival of Trees (hosted by the Haverhill Historical Society) on Day 2 of the 17 day show without wrecking the surprise of the visuals for people yet to visit. So THOH had to get a little creative with our photo session.

The Heartbeat of Haverhill had never been to Haverhill’s Festival of Trees so we experienced a bit of a learning curve that we hope to help alleviate for you. Here’s the scoop. The Festival runs November 29-December 15 see website for days, times, and admission costs It’s been going on for 12 years and is held at and supports the Buttonwoods Museum (240 Water Street, Haverhill) and the Haverhill Historical Society including ongoing maintenance to Historical Society properties. Individuals and businesses donate decorated trees, wreaths and/or centerpieces in themes of their choice. All are artificial for safety sake. About 20 volunteers (they could use more hint hint) set up the whole show. The guests arrive and buy raffle tickets to win the various decorated items.

Guests also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite in each category, and THOH strongly recommends voting, because sometimes you can’t see the trees for the forest and you may miss out on the details that make each so unique, for example one focused exclusively on Owls, yup, Owls.  THOH nicknamed this one “Owl Be Home For Christmas” though the official name is “Give a Hoot About Christmas”, another featured baseball cards, another was packed tight with full-sized dolls, another showcased stuffed animals. We started to understand that there are many reasons one might enter to win each tree….it could provide beauty in your home, that’s for sure, but it might also supply needed presents for your family or favorite charity or you may relate to its message.

IMG_2159 Haverhill festival of Trees

So much innovative variety reminded us that in our youth there were two choices for a tree topper – a star or an angel. That was it. THOH didn’t know where to look first as we entered the kaleidoscope of colors and lights spanning over a hundred decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces; we were too swept up in the wonder of it all. We focused on the apex of the trees to tease our readers with a glimpse of what might be, to get you wondering about what might hang beneath a fire hat, a Dr. Seuss feather concoction, a snowman or blazing sun. But it’s too close to Christmas to risk being naughty and revealing all. So you’ll just have to visit the exhibit yourself for the full effect of these funny, fabulous, sparkly, sentimental, wonderful, and heartfelt trees.

The Festival offers sweet treats, and scheduled art demonstrations and musical performances. During our visit we enjoyed a pastel demonstration by Susan Kneeland, who has a thriving business in a wide range of media (she is well represented at several galleries), but she also teaches art and conducts art therapy sessions. Susan Kneeland is a former resident of Haverhill, who moved next door to Plaistow, but still loves the city enough to participate in Haverhill activities whenever she can. Visit Susan’s website to learn more and see her online gallery

Artist Susan Kneeland works on a commissioned pastel and shares art and life commentary.

Artist Susan Kneeland works on a commissioned pastel and shares art and life commentary.

Come to Haverhill’s Festival of Trees and you’ll be dazzled. Your visit helps support the Historical Society and its mission “to educate the public about Greater Haverhill’s past through the preservation and collection of its history and culture.” And if you feel as though the holidays can be almost too demanding, enter the raffle for a tree or wreath. Winning will take one big thing off your “To Do” list, leaving more time for simply sharing the holidays with loved ones.

To learn about Haverhill’s Downtown Christmas tree and its donor click on this link:


(c) 2013 by Alison Colby-Campbell

2 comments on “Oh! Christmas Tree! Haverhill Festival of Trees is Tops!

  1. lynnefavreau
    November 30, 2013

    Another great story Alison. I’m kind of embarrassed to say we’ve never been to the Festival of Trees.

    • Brain4Rent/THoH
      December 1, 2013

      you’ve got your chance this year. It was great to go early and be able to stroll through without major crowds this morning BUT I hope they’re really busy to help with the Historical Society’s mission; it’s quite a resource

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Alison Colby-Campbell



Full-brain user demonstrating a healthy(?) obsession with marketing, promotion, writing, photography, house rabbits, the natural world, tennis, big and small problem solving, reading, hiking, HGTV and the flotsam & jetsam of everyday life. My three blogs Brain4Rent, The Heartbeat of Haverhill, Alison Colby-Campbell Photography are Wordpress based.

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