90 Christmas trees on display at 45th annual Festival of Trees in Idaho Falls
IDAHO FALLS – Sleigh bells ring. Are you listening?
The sights and sounds of Christmas got underway Monday morning at the Shilo Inn Convention Center for the 45th annual Festival of Trees.
A ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m. officially kicked off the week-long event. Jennifer Picanco, a Festival of Trees board member, tells EastIdahoNews.com there are a total of 90 trees on display this year, including 60 full-size trees and 30 miniature ones.
Those who attend can expect the traditional activities as in previous years, including entertainment from local groups and volunteers every half hour, food catered by local vendors, raffles, drawings and Santa will be there all week.
“Unless he’s feeding the reindeer,” Picanco says.
All the trees on display are for sale, along with wreaths and other decorations. There are also gifts and goodies available for purchase in Santa’s Gift Shop. Local vendors have treats and other items as well.
Festival of Trees began as a fundraiser for Sacred Heart Hospital. It’s been a fundraiser for Development Workshop since 1985.
The Development Workshop is a local nonprofit that provides employment and skill training for people who are disabled.
One of the programs this event helps sponsor is Field of Angels, which is a baseball league for disabled kids.
“It’s a volunteer event that happens during the summertime. They have multiple games,” Picanco says. “We support them in making sure they have their uniforms. That is one of our supporting causes that we absolutely love because we spread it to the children.
The mission of Development Workshop is to assist individuals who have a disability or who are disadvantaged to recognize and to achieve their chosen level of economic and social independence.
Funds raised from Festival of Trees will be dispersed throughout the coming year in various community programs and causes.
Those interested in purchasing a tree can bid on it throughout the week or purchase it at the listed “Buy it Now” price. The trees will be delivered to the highest bidder Saturday morning. More information is available at the tree sales table at the event.
Festival of Trees is happening Monday, November 18 through Friday, November 22 and goes from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Family night began at 5:30 Monday evening. There is a scavenger hunt and games for the kids.
The cost of admission is $3 for kids 4-17, $5 for adults 18 and over, $3 for adults 60 and up. Kids 3 and under are free. Multi-day passes are also available for individuals and families. Thursday is Senior Day, where senior citizens get in for free.
“Come by and enjoy our entertainment. It’s a tradition that a lot of people like,” says Picanco. “Come enjoy our cafe. Enjoy the trees. Look at them and kick off your holiday.”
Shilo Inn Convention Center is at 780 Lindsay Boulevard in Idaho Falls.