Sunday, December 15, 2019
Festival of Trees Spreads its Branches This Year
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This tree decorated by Sue Bridgman Florist last year featured furry snowmen and even a giant cuddly polar bear at the bottom.
 
Sunday, December 1, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

There’ll be a shed antler tree boasting 350 antlers and a tree revolving around “The Nutcracker” ballet.

There’ll also be an Out of Africa tree, a Neon Noel tree, a Santa’s Backcountry Christmas tree and an  American Pride tree when the Festival of Trees takes root at the Limelight Hotel.

And there will be ample opportunities for adults and children to check them out.

The Second Annual Festival of Trees will sprout Friday, Dec. 6, opening with a Preview Evening. And it will continue into Saturday, with a Children’s Fun Day featuring Santa and a gala Night of Lights in which the trees will be auctioned off.

“Every dime we make will go to the Senior Connection,” said Event Chair Penny Weiss. “The Senior Connection in this valley fills an incredibly unique need in this community—it serves a wonderfully rich population that sometimes gets overlooked.”

Weiss revived the Festival of Trees last year with her stable of volunteer elves coming up with some over-the-top trees reflecting such themes as “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” and the “Abounding Adorable Amazing Animalia” tree.

This year’s event will include the raffling of a gingerbread house that looks like Sun Valley Lodge. It is being built by Chris McCarthy, the former Konditeroi pastry chef who is now a chef at St. Luke’s Wood River.

There will also be a very unique Giving Tree—a tree made up of a hundred two-foot tall Christmas trees.

“Our hope is that people will buy two trees for $250, take one home and leave the other for The Senior Connection to take to its Meals on Wheels clients,” said Weiss.

This year will have three touch points:

  • A free preview evening will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. The evening will feature beer and wine and light hors d’oeuvres.
  • A free Children’s Day featuring Santa will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.

    The afternoon will include a Kid’s Raffle, where youngsters may drop raffle tickets in the bucket next to the toy they would like to win. Santa will draw the tickets at 1 p.m. that day.

    There also will be cookies and cocoa and cider and candy canes and an opportunity for parents to take their children’s picture with Santa.

  • The Night of Lights, during which 10 big decorated trees will be auctioned off, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Tickets are $125, available at www.seniorconnectionidaho.org or by phone at 208-595-1868.

The Night of Lights will include very heavy hors d’oeuvres, as well as a special champagne drink, beer, wine and soft drinks.

“My goal was to include the community more,” said Weiss. “Last year we were constrained by the size of The Mint. This year it will be held in the Limelight ballroom, and they have been absolutely amazing to work with.”

Of course, when all is said and done, it goes back to The Senior Connection.

“The Senior Connection enriches so many lives and it’s just such a happy place to be,” said Weiss. “And we’re all going to be there someday so I want it to stick around.”

 

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