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Hands On prepares for Festival of Trees fundraiser

By Jim Conrad
Published On: Nov 14 2013 05:08:29 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 14 2013 06:00:00 PM CST

Christmas will be here before you know it. and already we're beginning to see trees being decorated. One of the many places you can see a lot of decorated trees, and maybe even buy one, is Johnson City's Hands On Regional Museum.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

Christmas will be here before you know it, and already we're beginning to see trees being decorated.

One of the many places you can see a lot of decorated trees, and maybe even buy one, is Johnson City's Hands On Regional Museum.

They say the Hands On Regional Museum is the place to discover. Whether it's a traveling exhibit like their rainforest interactive adventure or other long-time favorites, the museum has a fun-loving 26-year history.

Andy Marquart is the museum's executive director. "One of the greatest things that I get to be a part of is a 26-year community legacy of Hands On Museum. The great thing about that is the support that's been built up over those years," he said, "and how much people truly believe in what we do as an organization."

The largest fundraiser for the museum is behind a large display of Christmas trees and decorations. It's their 25th Festival of Trees, and next Friday night's gala is the Night of Lights. "It's the biggest fundraiser and it's our most important fundraiser that's been around for 25 years," Marquart said. "People and organizations who decorate trees, wreaths and other ornamental items bring them to the museum and people get to purchase them and auction them off. So it's a true reflection of the holidays in the Tri-Cities."

For those who visit, the annual gala is a chance to do a little one-stop shopping for the holidays. "We have a live and silent auction. You can get your holiday decorations at the event and you can also get a lot of your Christmas shopping done at the event as well," Marquart told us.

This year's theme centers around the Griswold family of the seasonal favorite Christmas Vacation movie.

Hands On isn't alone in getting everyone in the holiday spirit. This Sunday at the Meadowview Conference Center in Kingsport, it's their first annual Festival of Trees, with proceeds to benefit at risk and underprivileged students.

In Greeneville their Festival of Trees open house is set from 2 until 4 p.m. in the Greeneville Commons area. Proceeds there are going to promote Greeneville as a vacation and sports destination.