By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a Baltimore tradition and it begins Friday.

The Festival of Trees draws thousands of people to the state fairgrounds in Timonium each year. Ron Matz has more on the largest holiday extravaganza on the East Coast.

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It’s the 27th annual Festival, benefiting the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

The three-day event has grown significantly since it began in 1990. It now features more than 700 trees, gingerbread houses and wreaths, decorated by local families, organizations and businesses. All of them are for sale.

“I’ve been out there every day and they are absolutely so creative and so fantastic,” says Lainy Lebow-Sachs, executive vice president of the Kennedy Krieger Institute. “I couldn’t do it if you paid me a million dollars.”

The event is the institute’s largest fundraiser. Last year, it attracted more than 52,000 people and raised a record-breaking $1.25 million to help the children at Kennedy Krieger.

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“The money all goes to research,” Lebow-Sachs says. “And it spreads the word about what Kennedy Krieger is all about. This is a chance to find out exactly what we do.”

There will be live entertainment on the state every hour, plus a silent auction, food, a vendors to help you get started on your holiday shopping.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. at the Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

Learn more about the Festival of Trees on the event website, FestivalofTrees.kennedykrieger.org.

WJZ is a proud sponsor of the Festival of Trees as part of our continuing community commitment.

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