Since 1971 Utah has been hosting the Festival of Trees and bringing happiness to all those that take part. This year, the fesitval is taking place this weekend, until December 1 at 10 p.m.
Over 700 trees grace the floor at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, while carefully decorated gingerbread houses, wreathes and intricately threaded blankets are also displayed. Each item is for sale with all proceeds going to the Primary Children’s Medical Center.
For some, the happiness comes in just viewing the trees while others get satisfaction creating a tree and having it offered for someone in need.
Each tree is submitted with a specific mission in mind. Be it in memory of a deceased loved one or the attempt to raise much needed funds for medical bills, each tree is special in its representation.
Some of the trees are accompanied with gifts that seem to flood the floor while others are more traditionally decorated and still offer vibrancy and thought.
At the Festival of Trees, everything is donated. From the trees down to the time the workers spend setting up. Organizations, church groups, clubs, families and even individuals donate the decorated trees, and other assorted Christmas items, in a bid to help out those in need.
BYU student David Stinson believes the event is such a hit in Utah because “it’s the kind of thing a whole family can participate in — whether making a tree or going to see all the trees others have made.”
“I love to see the incredible amount of creativity displayed,” said Stinson. “It’s also just fun stroll around with friends and family and see all of it. It’s the kind of thing that I would enjoy going to even if it weren’t for a charitable cause, so the fact that it is for a charitable cause makes it that much better. ”
For Melodi and Sean Bass, the festival has become a yearly tradition.
“We go because we’re obsessed with Christmas and try to do as many Christmasy things as we can,” Sean Bass said. “We like getting ideas for what our tree could or should look like.”
While it may be called the Festival of Trees, there are other things going on that keep you occupied. Warm scones, choirs, dance groups and even Santa himself keep the visitor entertained.
Melodi Bass said she loves “everything” the festival has to offer.
“From the beautiful displays of decorated trees, to the musical performances of Christmas songs, to the warm scones with honey butter, to the gingerbread houses more elaborate then my own, and most of all that hundreds come and support the wonderful primary’s children hospital,” said Melodi.”It’s one event that brings the Christmas spirit and true meaning of serving others.”