Brantwyn Estate once again is filled with merry trees and holiday decor as the Delaware Hospice Festival of Trees returns to the du Pont home.
The festival, which was turned into a virtual event last year, will be open Friday, Nov. 19, through Sunday, Nov. 21, with no admission to see the trees.
“We’re thrilled to be back to have an in-person event at this beautiful venue,” said Peggy Dolby, assistant director of development for Delaware Hospice.
Guests will be able to buy tickets for a silent raffle, and the festival market will offer home-baked goods, handmade wreaths and home decor, and plenty of seasonal gift options for family, friends or coworkers. In the past, almost everything has sold by the end of the event.
Proceeds go to provide care for the uninsured and for hospice programs that don’t get reimbursed by insurance.
There will be no evening events, but live music will be played during the day, from noon to 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The event’s trees this year are spread out more than usual, a nod to social distancing necessary for COVID-19 guidelines. Santa is skipping the event this year, too, because of COVID-19.
He’s staying home at the North Pole, organizers say.
The trees offer a mighty range of decorating styles and inspiration. Many are in traditional red, green and gold holiday colors. Others are a bit further afield.
One group made a tree to honor the U.S. military, with handmade ornaments featuring the seal of each service, and the tree covered in red, white and blue decor.
The tree next to it is also covered in patriotic colors and bunting and guests will be asked to create a message that will be clipped to the tree before it is delivered to the VA Hospital.
One tree decorated by St. Elizabeth ’72 students has a musical theme honoring a favorite nun.
Olaf the snowman climbs up the back to hug one tree, and honey bee hives and honor decorate another.
The centerpiece tree each year is covered in white doves, one for each person who died in hospice care. It’s particularly packed this year.
Many of the others also are remembrance trees and usually have a small photo showing the people being honored.
Delaware Hospice will have a online poll that should be up Monday, allowing visitors and others to vote for their favorite tree.
The New Castle event will be followed by a virtual Festival of Trees for Kent and Sussex Counties that will run from Nov. 29 until Jan. 5, 2022. The decorated trees there will be at the Hospice center in Milford until they are moved to community businesses and nonprofits.
Brantwyn Estate is at 600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, across from the du Pont County Club.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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