Annual Festival of Trees giving area veterans assistance

Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 10:06 PM EST
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ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) - “Because there’s a lot of times there’s not enough for veterans,” said Vermont Veteran Cliff Lang.

The St. Albans Festival of Trees is back for the pre-Christmas season. The week-long event attracts hundreds of people from all over to North Main Street in St. Albans. Before the pandemic, trees were put outside for people to enjoy.

Now they’re inside local business. Onlookers roaming the shops say seeing the trees stirs up the Christmas spirit.

“I love the season. Christmas trees are just beautiful, especially if it snows. Kind of just puts you in a festive mood,” said visitor Eric Houghton.

“All the variety, you should go up and down, just walk up and down the streets and you’ll see a variety of them. From whimsical, to happy, to traditional. It’s Great,” explained longtime resident Bilijean Smith.

This is the festival’s 14th year. The event raises three thousand dollars for local charities in the area. This year the money will be going to the Josh Pallotta Fund. Josh Pallotta is a veteran who died by suicide after returning from war. The non-profit is dedicated to supporting veterans and service members. Vets at Josh’s house say they are grateful the money is going to them.

“Very excited and happy that we are going to be able to do that. A lot of veterans struggle, even with the VA system. To be able to get the help that they need,” explained Lang.

People looking at trees are also in on the cause.

“I had friends going back to high school who were, you know, in the first desert storm. Some of them had gone to Afghanistan and certainly some of my friends have come back with PTSD. It’s a huge thing the community and quite honestly the state and the country should be helping to support,” said Houghton.

The Festival of Trees is going to be in St. Albans until December third with a new event. Josh’s house is looking to purchase a wheelchair accessible van for their veterans with the money.