It’s that time of year again and the Junior League of Greenwich’s Enchanted Forest 2015 runs through the weekend.
Be prepared to be dazzled as creativity abounds. The gingerbread houses and the trees decorated in inventive themes from Cardinal Sports to Boy Scouts. There are dozens of vendors, and photos with Santa, which are just the start.
Throughout the weekend there will be live performances including St. Saviour’s School of Dance, Dance Pointe and Grace Notes on Saturday, and, on Sunday time it right and you’ll see performances by Greenwich Dance Studio, GCDS and Allegra on Sunday.
Friday night’s activities featured a sneak peek at the decorated trees and gingerbread houses, for a perfect preview of what you can expect over the weekend.
Enchanted Forest co-chairs Heather Woodbridge and Brynn John said the creativity this year was unprecedented.
“This has been the most amazing experience,” Woodbridge said. “People have really outdone themselves.”
President Elect Sue Rogers said the event marks its 39th year in 2015, though the events weren’t all consecutive. For a time, the event was staged at the Old Greenwich Riverside Community Center.
“It’s a spectacular event,” said Brynn John, event co-chair. “It really relies on participation of the entire community. They do all the gingerbread and decorate the trees. It’s truly a community event.”
Local moms who are vendors at the Enchanted Forest, Susan Maounis and Lisa Wysocki of Fido Fixers, were selling their Skin Creamery products. All proceeds from the sale of the products goes to Fido Fixers. Fido Fixers is a non-profit that spays and neuters dogs with the help of multiple mobile spay & neuter trucks. Focusing on southern states, where pet overpopulation has been a challenge, the trucks are rented out for $1.00, with Fido Fixers picking up the tab.
A unique feature of the event is the Children’s Giving Shop. Chaired by Johnna Yeskey, with the help of a committee of sustainers, the shop includes a room where children go without their parents to select gifts are modest prices. In fact, many items are priced at just $1.00, $2.00 or $4.00.
The idea is for children to make a list of those they want to shop for, and plan their shopping with a budget in mind.
Yeskey said this year there are a number of teen volunteers, including a number of boys, who she said are unbelievable shoppers.
“It’s wonderful because the children can make the decisions on their own,” Yeskey said. “And it involves a little math.”
Junior League sustainers volunteer alongside local teens, many returning because they have fond memories of shopping in the Giving Shop themselves when they were little.
“We wrap every gift before they leave,” said committee member Laurel Forst, who spent the day setting up the Giving shop alongside Leigh Anne Rowinski.
Forst said that last year 800 children passed through the Children’s Giving Shop and the room was wiped clean before the end of the day on Sunday.
The Junior League of Greenwich’s Enchanted Forest 2015 runs through Sunday, Nov. 22 at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, 1800 East Putnam Ave in Old Greenwich.