• Green Saturday: Paramount’s Festival of Trees
    By Josh O’Gorman
    STAFF WRITER | December 06,2013
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    Cassandra Hotaling Hahn / Staff File photo

    Some of the Christmas trees are lit inside the Paramount Theatre. The Paramount will host the 11th annual Festival of Trees benefit for the Paramount starting at 6 p.m. Saturday.
    Think of Saturday’s event as a classier and much more fun version of Black Friday.

    Saturday evening, the Paramount Theatre will host its 11th annual Festival of Trees. Beside being the Paramount’s only fundraiser, it’s an opportunity to get excellent deals on local services and products, said Bruce Bouchard, executive director.

    “If I could give you a great list of items that you could get at 65 to 70 percent off, would you do it?” Bouchard asked rhetorically.

    And while, much like Black Friday, there will be competition among shoppers, Saturday’s event will involve food, drinks and music instead of pushing and shoving and lining up at 4 a.m.

    What began 11 years ago as an event in which people bid on decorated Christmas trees has blossomed into a cornucopia of 255 items and services that will be auctioned off in live and silent formats.

    And there are some seriously big-ticket items up for auction, including:

    A $10,000 gift certificate from Same Sun of Vermont toward the purchase of any solar energy system.

    Four tickets to see the New England Patriots at home Dec. 29 when they play the Buffalo Bills, compliments of Shearer Honda.

    A home or business security system with one year of service from the Royal Group.

    With two cash bars, food from Roots the Restaurant and dessert from A Dozen Eggs Bake Shoppe of Mount Holly, revelers will find themselves in a festive mood as they look for just the right item for their loved ones or themselves.

    “It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season,” Bouchard said.

    It’s also an important event, financially speaking, for the Paramount, which draws 35 percent of its budget from contributions. The Festival of Trees represents 18 percent of the contributed income budget.

    “My favorite movie ever made is ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ by Frank Capra,” Bouchard said. “I love its central mission of ‘do, help, give.’ For such a tiny community, Rutland is extraordinarily generous.”

    Admission to the Festival of Trees is $10, and doors open at 5:30 p.m. For more information, including a catalog of the items up for auction, visit www.paramountvt.org.

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