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The Greentree Festival

The Greentree Festival continues to be one of Kirkwood’s iconic community events year after year—for over 60 years. It’s impossible to name all the people who work to create this fantastic family event. However, there are a few shoutouts that we want to acknowledge as we look back on how the festival started and how it’s going. Kudos to Team Kirkwood’s police, fire, parks, and electric departments. Thank you to all the volunteers from the United Service Clubs of Kirkwood - Kirkwood Rotary, The Optimist Club, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, and the American Legion, and volunteers from the Greentree committee, especially Peggy Childress, Laura Horton, Katie Zisser, and Kirk Hutchison. And finally, thank you to the Barthelmass family for coordinating the park logistics. It’s a remarkable comment on how people from different backgrounds and life experiences can come together to create an unforgettable community event. And that’s one more reason to love this community.

 

How It Started 

Planting Trees

In 1960, Dutch elm disease destroyed a large portion of Kirkwood’s beautiful trees. Mayor Bill Pfitzinger and city council members Robert Reim, Robert Staed and Ninian Edwards created the Greentree Festival as a weekend event for the community to purchase and plant new trees in Kirkwood Park. 

Greentree’s Family Roots

Council member Ninian Edwards was instrumental in creating the Greentree Festival as well as the Kirkwood Community Center. Ninian’s daughter, Katie Edwards Burckhalter, and her husband, Bill, have served on the Greentree Festival committee for over 35 years. 

Folk Life (A Festival within the Festival)

In 1985, Dory Poholsky pitched the idea of integrating the Folk Life festival within the Greentree Festival to Mayor Herb Jones. Herb championed her idea, and Folk Life has been a major part of Greentree Festival since 1986. 

Greentree Committee 

Angie Munson was the first Chair of the Greentree Festival. At 100 years old, Angie has attended every Greentree Festival with the exception of last year. It’s been said that once people join the committee, they don’t leave because it is so much fun. 

A Formal Invitation to the City Council

As a way to thank the city for supporting the Greentree Festival, the entire committee attended a city council meeting to formally present the year’s theme, agenda, logistics and parking passes. 


 

The Iconic Greentree Festival “Trees” logo

When Debbie Zisser was Greentree Chair in 2011, she worked with Murray Pounds to create a Greentree logo contest. She created a contest for the graphic design students at St. Louis Community College at Meramec. Marjorie Williamson won the contest with her collection of colorful trees that seem to come to life. 

Family Fun Entertainment 

The Greentree Festival was originally one weekend, then it grew to two weekends. Today, Greentree is one weekend, but there is a bit of a pre-party the Saturday prior to Greentree. 

How It's Going

Planting Trees

Thousands of  Pin Oak, Sweet Gum, White Birch and Tulip trees that line pathways of Kirkwood Park are a result of the very first Greentree Festival. Today, Boy Scout Troop 325 hands out hundreds of free tree seedlings at Greentree Festival each year. 


 

Greentree’s Family Roots

The Burckhalters are still actively involved in the Kirkwood civic community. Bill is the Director of the Kirkwood Train Station. Their daughter, Kori Thompson, works for the Downtown Kirkwood Special Business District as the Farmers Market Master.

Folk Life (A Festival within the Festival)

Current Greentree committee member Pat Jones headed Folk Life before turning it over to Cindy Coombs. Today, Cindy can be seen riding in Greentree parade on the Folk Life float with her grandkids as a tribute to her father, former Mayor Herb Jones.

Greentree Committee 

Long-time committee members certainly have fun, but they also take their roles seriously. Bob Mosby is known for booking the best up-and-coming entertainers, and Debbie Stream continues to add innovative artists and crafters. 

A Frolicking Skit for the City Council

In 2012, committee member Linda Ross thought it would be fun to create a skit, complete with full costumes, for the city council presentation. Over the years, committee members have paraded into city hall in capes and cowboy vests and circus flair. 

The Iconic Greentree Festival “Trees” logo

After 12 years of designing Greentree-themed tree logos, Marjorie released her drawings to a local Kirkwood graphic designer so the beloved trees will live on through a new life. 

Family Fun Entertainment 

Don’t miss the Pre-Greentree Festival activities in Kirkwood Park. Saturday, Sept.10, Kirkwood Rotary Ramble 5k, 10k run/walk and fun run kicks off the morning. Party in the Park begins in the evening with food trucks, the Bubble Bus and live music. The weekend after the Greentree Festival will be the first-ever Greentree Festival pickleball tournament. Visit KirkwoodMO.org/recreation/greentree-festival for more information

61st Annual Greentree Festival

Kirkwood Park

Saturday, Sept. 10

Kirkwood Rotary Ramble 

Party in the Park 

Friday, Sept. 16t

Food and Information Booths: 5-10 p.m.

Wine Garden: 5-10 p.m. 

Kids’ Dog Show: 6:30 p.m. 

Fabulous Motown Revue Main Stage: 6:30 p.m.

Skyhoundz Canine Frisbee Contest: 7:30 p.m. 

Saturday, Sept. 17

Food and Information Booths: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

180+ Arts and Crafts Booths: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Folklife Artisans: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Greentree Festival Parade: 10 a.m.

Kids Day: 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Main Stage Live Music: 12-7 p.m.

Wine Garden: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 18

Food and Information Booths: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

180+ Arts and Crafts Booths: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Folklife Artisans: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Kids Day: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Main Stage Live Music: 12-5 p.m.

Wine Garden: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Visit KirkwoodMO.org/recreation/greentree-festival for more information

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