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Festival of Trees is back at the Crosley Estate

SARASOTA -- The thought of Christmas is enough to make some people nostalgic.

And for the 15th year, the Crosley Estate Foundation hosted the Holidays at the Crosley Festival of Trees as a way to take people on a journey through Christmases past.

Natalie Gundrum, chair of the event, said she enjoys seeing the different reaction by different generations.

She said adults will enjoy the nostalgic vibe and children will enjoy the whimsical nature of the event.

“This is a phenomenal event,” she said. “I like the joy it brings.”

Rooms are decorated to fit certain themes, such as the gingerbread village room, train room and radio room. There are also Christmas trees throughout the home.

For Ardye McKrell, 70, the radio room took her back to her childhood.

“We had one just like that,” she said, pointing to a smaller Crosley radio set.

“Oh, they are so cool,” said Hailee, 7, walking into the gingerbread room, the room she was looking forward to the most.

“We made one last year,” she said. “It had candy canes and gum drops. It was good.”

Although her brother, Stone, was eager to vote on his favorite gingerbread house, his eyes also were set on the train room. It reminded him of his grandparents’ train set.

“I play with the little guys on it,’ said Stone, 6. “I like them because they start off slow, but then they go fast. They carry presents and Santa goes on them.”

The festival, at 8374 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, runs through Dec. 7. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, free for children under 12. Other activities, including musical performances, are available throughout each day, some for an additional charge.

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