Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/5/23
Atlanta Nonprofit Set To Host Annual, Eight-Day Festival At Georgia World Congress Center With Forest Of Holiday Trees For Auction, Live Entertainment And More
Georgia Festival of Trees will kick off the holiday season with an eight-day festival Saturday, Nov. 18-Sunday, Nov. 26 at the Georgia World Congress Center, featuring a dazzling display of Christmas trees, wreaths, centerpieces and nativities for auction, live music and entertainment, Christmas Brick Challenge, kids’ activities and games, boutique gift shops, food carts and more.
The festival boasts the title of Georgia’s largest holiday event but its impact reaches far beyond that. All proceeds from the event and holiday tree sales will benefit two local nonprofit organizations working to support survivors of human trafficking and end human trafficking: Street Grace and Atlanta Redemption Ink. The festival remains true to its mission: spreading holiday magic with a heart to end human trafficking.
“As a child, I remember eagerly waiting for the Festival of Trees, and it’s incredible to now look around and see families in my own community creating their own memories at the Georgia Festival of Trees,” said Georgia Festival of Trees Executive Director Angie Ulibarri. “While we’re bringing back many parts that our community loves, including the auction, children’s activities, pictures with Santa, the Christmas Lego Challenge and of course the beautiful trees, we’re excited to partner with two new nonprofits as we further our mission to end human trafficking.”
Each tree, wreath, centerpiece and nativity at the festival is designed, decorated and donated by individuals and organizations around the southeast, providing a variety of options for those looking to take home holiday decor. Trees and other decor are auctioned off both in-person and online during the festival.
The auction is the main driver to support this year’s beneficiaries: Street Grace and Atlanta Redemption Ink. Street Grace is a faith-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to eradicate the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).
“We’re honored to be partnering with Georgia Festival of Trees,” Street Grace Director of Engagement Brooke Ruffin. “The issue of sex trafficking will not be eradicated unless we shine a light on it, and what better way to do that than a festival filled with Christmas lights! We’re humbled to be a beneficiary and are excited to join in on the festivities.”
The second beneficiary is local survivor-led nonprofit, Atlanta Redemption Ink (ARI), which focuses on transforming painful reminders of the past into symbols of hope. They offer tattoo removals, scar revision, and cover-ups to survivors of commercial sexual exploitation along with training from a lived experience lens and on tattoo iconography.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of Georgia Festival of Trees’ mission to create holiday magic with a bigger purpose: to end human trafficking,” said Jessica Lamb, founder of Atlanta Redemption Ink. “Our heart is to bring hope into difficult situations, and we couldn’t think of a better event to partner with this Christmas.”
Georgia Festival of Trees is sponsored by Elavon, Amerimed, Well Care, Ambetter Health, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, doTERRA and more. Tickets to the Georgia Festival of Trees start at $13.95 for children ages 3-12 and seniors ages 62 and up, and $18.95 for adults. Additionally, a wristband for the children’s activities can be purchased prior to arriving or for $9.95 on site. The Georgia World Congress Center is located at 285 Andrew Young International Blvd. Northwest, Atlanta, Ga. 30313.
For a schedule of events, to purchase tickets, sign up to volunteer or learn more about the Georgia Festival of Trees visit gafestivaloftrees.org. For more about Street Grace, visit streetgrace.org. To learn more about Atlanta Redemption Ink, visit arionline.org.