VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Rotary Foundation is gearing up for its 21st annual Festival of the Trees, which takes place the weekend after Thanksgiving, Fri-Sun., Nov. 25-27 at the Vancouver Hilton Hotel.
This year’s festival includes musical entertainment, a community tree lighting, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a free Vancouver Pops Orchestra concert, train engine rides, the infamous ‘talking tree,’ a community scavenger hunt, a holiday farmers market and a variety show.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Festival of Trees without the trees. Each year, members of the Rotary Club of Vancouver decorate and raffle off an assortment of themed holiday trees. Each tree has corresponding “prizes” that come with it, upping the appeal and making the $5 raffle tickets seem like a bargain.
For instance, this year’s “Angels We Have Heard on High” tree, decorated by Rotarian Kathy Hammer, includes a beautiful green tree with red poinsettias, red berries and gold, angel-themed ornaments, as well as a variety of prizes like a 90-minute flight for two around Mt. St. Helens, a Maryhill wine basket with six bottles of wine, two tickets to Share’s April 22 “Vintage Vegas” gala, $800 worth of laser services by Dr. Rick Green, an overnight stay at Skamania, a Washington state cutting board courtesy of Friends of the Carpenter, four tickets to Dance Fusion NW’s “Christmas Stories” dance event in December and four tickets to any performance of Journey Theater’s “Narnia” production.
Other trees included in this year’s Festival of Trees include two beach themed trees: “Christmas by the Sea” tree decorated by Jan Hampton and “Seas ‘N’ Greetings” decorated by Karey Dillingham; a farm-animal-adorned “All Things Country … Christmas on the Farm” tree decorated by Teddy Mires; a Western-themed “Westward Ho Ho Ho” tree decorated by Robin Anderson; and a whimsical “Tree Lot” tree decorated by Darcy Neu, which features classic car ornaments (with trees attached to their tops, straight from the tree lot). There are 12 trees in total.
If you want to preview the trees before the Festival of Trees gets underway, they’re available throughout this week, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., today through Sat., Nov. 19, at Divine Consign, 904 Main St., in downtown Vancouver. The shop also has raffle tickets available for each of the trees. Raffle tickets cost $5 each.
After the “early-bird” tree viewing at Divine Consign, the public won’t see the trees again until the Festival Tree Viewing, Nov. 25-27, at the Vancouver Hilton Hotel, 301 W. 6th St., Vancouver. The trees will be on display at the hotel from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri., Nov. 25; from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat., Nov. 26 and from noon to 4 p.m., Sun. Nov. 27.
The festival tree raffle takes place at 4 p.m., Sun., Nov. 27, at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver. Proceeds from the raffle support scholarship programs for local students and other Rotary programs throughout the Vancouver community.
For a full schedule of this year’s Festival of Trees, which includes the Vancouver Rotary’s annual tree lighting celebration in Vancouver’s Esther Short Park on Fri., Nov. 25 and a Vancouver Farmer’s Market’s special holiday farmer’s market, Nov. 25-27, visit the Rotary Festival of Trees site.