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Dec 15, 2017







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Fez-tival of Trees

Where: Bektash Shriners Center, 189 Pembroke Road, Concord
When: Saturday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Wednesday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Thursday, Nov. 23, Friday, Nov. 24, Saturday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Adults are $5, seniors are $4 and children 12 and under are free. A sheet of 30 raffle tickets is $5.
Visit: bektashshriners.org




Fez-tive display
Trees get all dolled up for annual Fez-tival

11/16/17
By Ethan Hogan



 Christmas trees are canvases for creation at Concord’s Fez-tival of Trees, which returns to the Bektash Shriners Center for the 17th year starting Saturday, Nov. 18.

It continues every day, except Thanksgiving, through Sunday, Nov. 26.
More than 100 trees decorated by local organizations, businesses and individuals in the community will be on display for guests to see and bid on. Richard Dooley, potentate of the Bektash Shriners, started the tradition 17 years ago with his wife after seeing the same type of event at a Shriners Center in Methuen, Mass.
“We thought it was a great idea [and] decided to co-op that idea and bring it to Concord,” said Dooley.
Participants who design the trees have complete creative freedom. Dooley remembers a tree designed and donated by a local BJ’s store made out of hardware tools.
“In 17 years that have gone by it is just unbelievable some of the ideas people come up with to decorate a tree. … It’s amazing,” said Dooley.
A tree donated by a local music store used artificial branches to create a cave inside the tree. The branch cave housed various mini musical instruments. There have been upside down trees, doll house trees and summer trees.
All trees are judged by organizers on beauty, originality and theme.
When guests enter the Fez-tival they are handed a booklet that describes all the trees and who donated them. Raffle tickets are available for purchase for $5 for 30 tickets, and they can be dropped into buckets in front of the trees. 
“Every one of those trees and everything on it is won by some individual,” said Dooley.
Dooley said people sometimes buy hundreds of tickets and put them all into one bucket to increase their chances.
A separate Treasure Tree is decorated with  $2,000, and scratch tickets from the New Hampshire State Lottery. 
There will also be a silent auction where participants can bid on products from local businesses like gas grills and TVs.
Wives of the Shriners Center members make lunch every day, including an apple crisp that Dooley said is a favorite.
Santa will stop by the Fez-tival every day to meet with kids and help celebrate, and there will be children’s games as well. Dooley said the Fez-tival kicks off on the same day as the Concord Christmas Parade, so once the parade ends, people head to the Bektash Shriners Center.
“We have had many people tell us that they come back every year because it gets their family in the Christmas spirit,” said Dooley.





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