BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a holiday tradition 25 years old. The Festival of Trees opens at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. Thousands of people are expected to show up. It’s all to support Kennedy Krieger.

Meghan McCorkell has an inside look at the festival.

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The Festival of Trees is the East Coast’s largest holiday extravaganza, benefiting a great cause.

It’s become a Maryland family tradition. People pour in the doors to experience the magic of the Festival of Trees.

“We love the show. We enjoyed it very much.”

The festival features a Santa-land full of cookie decorating and face painting for kids. There’s also live music, 100 gift boutiques and a gingerbread town.

The main attraction–700 beautiful trees, individually decorated by volunteer designers–all of them are for sale.

“My tree sold in the first eight minutes,” Haley Gaede, tree designer, said.

“Last year, I had a four-foot tree that won first place and this year I did a two-foot tree,” Madison Gaede, another tree designer, said.

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Nine-year-old Haley Bosley-Smith worked with her girl scout troop to design a special tree.

“We got clams from the Chesapeake Bay and we made stuff like angels and crab shells,” she said.

The festival encompasses the spirit of giving.

Over the past 25 years, the festival has raised $17 million. The money helps support patient care and research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, which treats children with developmental disabilities.

“You can do your shopping, have family time, take your Christmas holiday picture in front of one of these wonderful trees,” said Lainey Lebow-Sachs with Kennedy Krieger. “It’s the best.”

A perfect way to give back, bringing focus to what really matters this holiday season.

The festival of trees runs through Sunday.

Admission to the festival is $13 for adults and $7 for kids. Children under four are free.

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