Several business in downtown Berlin, MD have gorgeous holiday trees on display in their front windows and signs taped to their entrance doors that say ‘Festival of Tree Participant’. The Festival of Trees is a silent auction of holiday trees that started on Holiday Arts Night, December 8th. Since then, individuals have had an opportunity to bid on the trees; lucky winners take home the entire tree, ornaments, skirt, and all.
Decorated trees will be on display in all of the shops throughout town until this evening. You can make a bid on your favorite tree and cross your fingers in hopes of winning. Bidding will close tonight, December 14th, at 8 pm. Silent auction winners will be contacted the morning of December 15th by shop staff. 
All monies raised during the Festival of Trees auction will help support Berlin Victorian Christmas activities. Each year, the merchants, the Chamber, and the Town throw a fun celebration that transforms historic Berlin into a small Victorian town during the holiday season. The lamp posts are decorated with fresh greens, Christmas music fills the streets, a horse-drawn carriage gives free rides, and Santa visits Main Street each weekend.
“Proceeds from the Festival of Trees auction proceeds the free horse and carriage rides, Santa’s visits, and Victorian Christmas marketing,” said Terri Sexton, owner of the Treasure Chest and Victorian Christmas volunteer.
“It’s a way for the merchants to make a donation that will support our community,” she added.
2012 marks the first year for the Festival of Trees. 16 businesses have participated along Main Street, William Street and Pitts Street.
Debbi Dean-Colley, a Berlin resident, is high bidder on the tree from the Treasure Chest.
“I loved the gold bulbs,” she said, “They have a vintage look to them.”
Dean-Colley plans to use her tree every year.
Check out the Main Street Berlin Facebook page or website for additional fundraisers this season. Berlin Victorian Christmas will continue through New Year’s Eve – when a giant celebration will take place in the town’s square. Check out Festival of Trees photos below.
Bustle - Berlin, MD - Christmas

Bustle's tree is decorated in tan fabric flowers, tipped with a tea bow, and displayed next to a beautiful wedding gown.

Church Mouse Thrift Store - Berlin, MD - Christmas

The Church Mouse Thrift Shop of Berlin, MD has a rustic little tree in their window that is included in the Festival of Trees silent auction.

JJ Fish Studio - Berlin, MD - Christmas

J.J. Fish Studio's entry in the Festival of Trees is the only live tree in the silent auction! J.J.'s tree features hand-blown glass ornaments. 

Nest - Berlin, MD - Christmas

NEST's tree will appeal to pet-lovers! Their holiday tree is decorated with colorful ribbons, dog treats, and animal ornaments.

Sisters - Berlin, MD - Christmas

The Sisters tree is Charlie-Bown-styled: little and silver. It's covered in hand-made glass ornaments created by children of the Berlin Youth Club.

Ta Da - Berlin, MD - Christmas

Ta Da's tree has already been auctioned off! Their winner went home with a pretty trees covered in starfish and seashells. Stop by Ta Da to check out their hand-painted Christmas balls.

Town Center Antiques - Berlin, MD - Christmas

Inside of Town Center Antiques on Pitts Street is a spirited tree covered in red ribbons and red Christmas ornaments.

Town Center Antiques - Berlin, MD - Christmas

Town Center Antiques on Main Street is cute and covered in silver!

Featured photo shows he holiday tree at The Treasure Chest. Their tree has already been claimed but was decorated with beautiful glittery, gold Christmas balls. To see more photos, visit ShoreBread on Facebook.
Photos by Ami Reist.