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Festival of Trees revived alongside Nutcracker Ballet

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It may be hard to believe, but the holiday season is just around the corner. This year, you can celebrate in a big way with the renewal of the Festival of Trees in addition to the annual production of the Nutcracker Ballet.

The Cape Fear Festival of Trees is a long-time tradition that stopped three years ago. Now, the Wilmington Ballet Company is bringing the event back and plans to donate a significant portion of the event's proceeds to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice. Dancers of all ages auditioned Saturday.

"I think this production is especially different just because we do have that scene right before they go into the Land of the Sweets where it's basically a seaside entrance,” recalls professional dancer Elizabeth Fuller. “So it brings a little of the beach to the Nutcracker, which makes it very regional, very relatable to this town. Of course, it's just a magical story. It's Christmastime. The little girl gets the nutcracker, and she gets to fulfill her dreams and dance and see the Sugarplum Fairy."

"I think dancing in a ballet is really fun because getting ready for it is really fun, and dancing on stage is really fun even though it's kind of scary sometimes," 10-year-old dancer Zella Hanson said.

The Nutcracker Ballet and the Festival of Trees is scheduled for the weekend of December third at the Minnie Evans Art Center.

Tickets and information are available at capefearfestivaloftrees.org and wilmingtonballetcompany.org.

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