BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After going virtual last year, Kennedy Krieger’s Festival Trees is set to return in November with a mix of in-person and online activities.

There will be an outdoor toy drive at the Maryland State Fairgrounds on Friday, Nov. 26 and Saturday, Nov. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring live music and a visit from Santa and other characters.

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Organizers are also planning online events such as Q&As with Santa and the Disney Princesses, a concert with the group Milkshake, crafting activities and more.

The fundraiser’s signature event, the sale of designer-decorated trees, wreaths and ginger bread houses, will also take place online, as will an auction of memorabilia, experiences and gifts.

The 32nd annual fundraiser benefits the Kennedy Krieger Institute, a nonprofit providing medical care, services and schooling for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.

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“The theme for Festival is ‘The Holidays Start Here,’ and this year, we are delighted to start Festival weekend by hosting a toy drive that will support our patients in the hospital and students in the schools,” said Linda Schaefer Cameron, Kennedy Krieger’s vice president of philanthropy. “The power of a gift to a child is extraordinary, and we know families in our community will support this effort Thanksgiving weekend when shopping for their own families.”

Since 1990, the event has raised $24 million for the organization’s programming. Last year’s online-only event got 30,000 views and helped raise $650,000, according to the institute.

“The community has been so supportive of the Institute during this historical time as we have worked to serve our patients, students and families during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Brad Schlaggar, president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute. “Now, we are excited to bring everyone the joy of the holiday season through the Festival for these three days.”

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This year’s festival is scheduled from Nov. 26-28. More details can be found at

CBS Baltimore Staff