by Jason Putsche Photography

The 33rd Annual Holiday Event Transforms the Fairgrounds’ Cow Palace into a Winter Wonderland of Trees, Wreaths, Gingerbread and Not-to-Be-Missed Holiday Magic

The holidays are back! For the first time since 2019, Festival of Trees returns as an in-person event at the Timonium Fairgrounds during Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 25-27. This three-day holiday celebration benefits the patients, students and programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute and is a great way for families to kick off The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

“For the past two years, Festival fans enjoyed a hybrid event that was adapted to provide families safe festival fun during the pandemic,” said Brad Schlaggar, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute. “Now, we are very excited to again bring everyone the joy of the holiday season through our in-person, three-day event.”

Hundreds of designer-decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses will be on sale and displayed throughout the fairgrounds’ Cow Palace, which will be transformed into a winter wonderland for Festival of Trees weekend. Timed-entry tickets this year will minimize crowds and allow Festival-goers and Kennedy Krieger’s patients, students, families, employees and supporters to have a positive and safe experience.

Returning Festival favorites include Santa Claus, of course, who will be at Festival all three days. Grammy-nominated band Milkshake returns to rock the house with holiday and original songs for adults and children alike.

Young Festival-goers can enjoy a carousel, rides, and games. For grown-ups, there will be plenty of holiday shopping options including an online auction and a raffle, which includes a Maryland Lottery scratch-off tree as one prize.

“Festival of Trees is Kennedy Krieger’s largest fundraising event. During this weekend, the community helps us raise funds for research, patient care and special education school programs, and the support we’ve received over our 33 years of Festival has been amazing,” Dr. Schlaggar said.

Truist is back as the event’s lead sponsor, and they are spearheading this year’s toy drive. In the weeks leading up to Festival, they will have drop boxes in their bank branches around the area, ready to receive new, unwrapped toys to help make the holidays bright for the Institute’s patients and students.

Shoppers can note that last year’s streamlined pickup process for trees, wreaths, and gingerbread houses will be in place again this year.

For up-to-date information on Festival, follow Kennedy Krieger on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Additionally, head to for timed-entry tickets and more details on Festival’s offerings, as well as COVID-19 safety precautions. And, sponsorships are still available!

Festival of Trees began in 1990 and has raised more than $24 million for Kennedy Krieger’s programs in addition to welcoming more than 1 million guests in the past three decades. During the first two years of the pandemic, organizers transformed Festival of Trees into a COVID-safe event with online offerings and the new toy drive. The event continued to draw community support and raised more than $1 million during those two years.

About Kennedy Krieger Institute
Kennedy Krieger Institute, an internationally known, non-profit organization located in the greater Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region, transforms the lives of more than 25,000 individuals a year through inpatient and outpatient medical, behavioral health and wellness therapies, home and community services, school-based programs, training and education for professionals and advocacy. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children, adolescents and adults with diseases, disorders or injuries that impact the nervous system, ranging from mild to severe. The Institute is home to a team of investigators who contribute to the understanding of how disorders develop, while at the same time pioneer new interventions and methods of early diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Visit for more information about Kennedy Krieger.

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