About the Festival
Preserving History Since 1994
Since the Festival’s inception, the Festival has donated over 2 million dollars to preserver historic site around the Merrimack Valley.
In 1994, volunteers raising funds for the restoration of the 1830’s Tenney Gate House conceived the idea of holding a Christmas fundraiser featuring fully decorated Christmas trees, to help fund the expensive restoration costs associated with the project.
The tree festival they started at Methuen’s Nevins Memorial Library showcased 17 trees and raised a modest $3,100. A year later, the 2nd Festival showcased 42 trees and demonstrated that this could become an event that would raise sufficient funds to finish the restoration project. The volunteers, who were part of the Tenney Gate House Restoration Committee, were successful in saving the Gate House from destruction. Today, it is home to the Methuen Museum of History.
Since that simple beginning, the Festival of Trees has become the largest such Festival in New England and one of the largest in the country. The event has grown to display up to 240 trees and wreaths and has attracted as many as 30,000 guests from nearly 400 cities and towns in Massachusetts and throughout New England.
The Festival of Trees has remained faithful to its initial mission investing more than $2 million in historic preservation projects with nearly 60 Preservation Partners in 25 communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Trees from the Festival of Trees have graced the cover of the Boston Globe Magazine and have been featured in Northshore Magazine, Merrimack Valley Magazine, The Boston Globe and many additional newspapers and other media outlets. The Festival has been featured on Boston’s Channel 5 Chronicle show, Boston television stations 4 and 7, New England Cable News (NECN), and New Hampshire Channel 9.