BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - The 37th annual Festival of Trees, filled with holiday trees decorated by local scouts, civic groups and other organizations from the area, opened on Friday at the Environnmental Education Center in Basking Ridge. The festival will remain open nearly every day through Dec. 28, and will offer refreshments and holiday music on some days. 

The Somerset County Park Commission, which runs the Environmental Education Center, is presenting the winter spectacular at the EEC building at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge.

The Festival of Trees opened to the public on Friday and will remain open seven-days-a week until Sunday, Dec. 28, with the exception of Wednesday, Dec. 24 and Thursday Dec. 25. The exhhibit is open between 9:30 a.m.. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

A non-denominational event, the Festival of Trees transforms the Environmental Education Center into a festive spectacular featuring a remarkable display of holiday trees, designed and created by local groups, clubs, businesses, and individuals who select the theme and decorate in their own style with their personal artistic ability. The annual Central Jersey holiday tradition provides a great way for families to enjoy the festivities of the holiday season.

The Snowflake Café will provide the opportunity to enjoy a hot beverage and fresh baked goods.

Live holiday music will be presented on weekends by both professional and amateur performers. A schedule of performers is available by calling the Environmental Education Center at 908-766-2489 or on the website at www.somersetcountyparks.org. The next scheduled performance is Festive Us - Jeannie and Antonio Sing, at noon on Saturday, Dec. 13.

There is a suggested donation of $5 per person. Groups of 12 or more who schedule in advance will receive a 20 percent discount. Disadvantaged or disabled groups will be admitted for free. Proceeds from the event help support educational and community service programs at the EEC.

For information or group reservations, contact the Environmental Education Center at 908-766-2489, or NJ Relay at 711 for individuals with a hearing or speech impairment.

Information on this event and other Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found online at www.somersetcountyparks.org.