PDT Staff Writer
The opening for Festival of Trees and Trains will take place Friday with a special premier at the Paramount Arts Center, 1300 Winchester Ave., Ashland, Ky. This year's theme is "A Gift Wrapped Memory."
To kick off the festivities, a cocktail party and dinner with Chef Paul Runnels Catering, takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday. Dancing on stage takes place from 9 to 11 p.m. with Ritchie Collins and various friends, and bids will take place on the trees.
The premier-night cost is $75 per person and advance registration is preferred, however, there will be tickets available at the door, according to Tyson Compton, Paramount's marketing director.
This year, 83 trees will be featured for the public to place their bids. There also will be 28 gingerbread houses and 22 door arrangements. Be sure to vote for your favorite, Compton said.
Some of the highlights of this year's event include performances by Steve Free and the Portsmouth West High School choir.
Last year, more than 12,000 visitors came to the event and this year officials are hoping to reach a goal 15,000, Compton said. The event officially kicks off Saturday. The event continues until Dec. 1.
Hours for the festival are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday and 4 to 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.
Admission is $6 (13 to 54); $4 (55 and older); children $4 (12 and younger) and children younger than 3 admitted free.
In addition to opening-night events, the calendar includes: