Brightly festooned trees, welcoming wreathes, magnificently decorated gingerbread houses and glittering dÃ¯Â¿Â½cor will welcome and warm the hearts of many at this year's Festival of Trees.
For 34 years, this four-day, fund-raising event brings together the "Gift of Love" that heralds in the holiday spirit as families, community groups, businesses and volunteers decorate trees and other holiday objects for patients at Primary Children's Medical Center. Every penny raised has been used to directly benefit children in need at Primary Children's.
With more than 700 trees on display, 220,000 square feet of the South Towne Exposition Center magically fills with bright and shining holiday trees and decorations. This year, Necia Christensen's tree, "Hats Off to Primary" is decorated with autographed hats from local and national celebrities. Her creation recognizes children who bravely battle cancer and the ill effects of chemotherapy. "Our 10-year-old granddaughter is a cancer patient. Due to the side effects of chemotherapy, she lost her hair and hoped for the day when she could finally take her hat off," said Christensen.
An 80-member volunteer board works throughout the year preparing, recruiting committees and coordinating every detail of Festival happenings. Lori Peterson, Festival Chairwoman views the volunteers' deep dedication as the backbone to the success of the event, "For our volunteers, Christmas is a year-round endeavor that blesses the lives of children in need. Every hour given is an hour that comes straight from the heart." Assisting Mrs. Peterson are her three Co-chairwomen Edyth Hansen, Sandy; Shauna Kerr, Centerville and Karen Robinson, West Jordan.
Many Festival-goers make it a holiday stop to shop the ever-popular Gift Boutique known for its handmade items. The Sweet Shoppe is also another Festival favorite where many-a-sweet tooth will be satisfied by cakes, rich fudge, cookies and other mouth-watering treats.
In addition to the trees, sweets, and handcrafted items, Festival of Trees features something for children of all ages! Kids' Korner offers activities created for the younger ones, such as face painting, Dial-An-Elf, ice fishing and sand sculpting. The Small Fry Shop is brimming full with sweet treats and surprises wrapped in creative felt designs, especially priced for a child's budget. Visit Santa Land and sit with Jolly Old St. Nick for a memorable holiday photo. Live performances by high school choirs, professional dance troupes and entertainers provide holiday cheer throughout the event.
Over the past 34 years, Festival of Trees has raised funds to support charity care at Primary Children's Medical Center. Last year alone, nearly $10.3 million was expended to ensure that every child is cared for regardless of race, religion or ability to pay. This has meant a brighter future to thousands of children.
Begin your holiday tradition December 1-4, at the South Towne Exposition Center at the 2004 Festival of Trees. Cost at the door: $4.00/adults; $2.50/children age 11 and under. Discount tickets can be purchased at Zions First National Bank for $3.50/adults; $2.00/children. Family tickets can be purchased at the door only on Wednesday, December 1, for $13.00 (6 immediate family members). Senior Citizen tickets can be purchased at the door throughout Festival week for $2.50.
For more information contact:
Earlene Rex, Publicity Chairwoman (801) 272-3848
Leslie Hill, Publicity Co-chair (801) 224-1349
Jeanne Cady, Primary Children's Medical Center (801) 588-3684