NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

November 29, 2013

Standing tall

Sea Festival of Trees offers seasonal spirit for worthy causes

Salisbury marks the wonder of the Christmas tree this weekend with its first Sea Festival of Trees.

The money raised will be divided equally and donated to two nonprofit organizations: Anna Jaques Hospital and the Salisbury Beach Partnership.

The celebration is hosted by Salisbury Beach’s Blue Ocean Music Hall and sponsored by Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank.

“This is going to be such fun, and we’re very excited about it,” said Jan Morse, president and CEO of Newburyport Five. “We got involved because this will help two very worthy organizations. Last I heard, they had more than 85 trees and were hoping for 100, which is just terrific given that it’s the first year. We have all our staff working on decorating our tree.”

All of the 6- to 10-foot-tall decorated trees are donated by businesses, organizations, student groups and families in the region.

Not even state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives could resist. Her office has been busy not only decorating a tree for the event but hand-making all the ornaments that reflect the tree’s theme: “Made in Massachusetts.”

O’Connor Ives has personally crafted ornaments depicting state cranberry bogs, her region’s history as a shoe manufacturer and where the NECCO wafer was born.

“And we have one of Salisbury Beach, from a picture I took myself,” O’Connor Ives said. “This has just been such a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see all the trees.”

Other trees include one with a snowman theme from the Institution for Savings, while Angels Home Health Care went with a pink, white and silver motif that includes a band of, what else, angels.

Amesbury Sports Park’s tree offers a sledding and tubing format, and Priority Capital is promising a money tree. The Artist Bar’s holiday evergreen will have small, original paintings as ornaments, and Beach Rose RV Park’s tree will sport a nautical feel with shell decorations.

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