Festival Of Trees Celebrates The Holidays

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Quad City Arts Festival of Trees is the offical kick off to the holiday season for many in the QCA. I know my family looks forward to our two trips to Festival Of Trees each year. First to watch the dancers from Above The Barre Dance Academy , my sister in laws dance studio, perform on the CenterStage and then once again Thanksgiving weekend to soak it all in one more time. Like many people Christmas is my favorite time of the year and so much of what makes the Holiday’s special are the memories of Christmas past.

My memories of Festval of Trees include creating celebrity baskets when I worked at B100 or All Hit 98.9 back in the day, dj’ing Jingle Jam eleven different times or maybe most importantly spending family time with my wife and daughters enoying the Festival parade or walking through the River Center looking at trees or even buying Xmas gifts at the Festival Gift Shop. So many memories that started when I was a college student and continue to this day.

That’s what makes Festival of Trees special to me. Years of memories that are added onto each season. If you like the parade or special events, there’s Teddy Bear Tea, the Silver Bell Social, Celebrity Lunch and many more. If you like live music and dancing, you can see that any day that Festival if open on CenterStage.

festival-express

One of the things I’ve enjoyed over the years and now is shared my by teenage daughter is a love of the Festival Express. Every year the engineers at KJWW Engineering work year round to create a fantastic display to help support Festival of┬áTrees. Children delight in winding their way through whatever magical backdrop is created for the display. Kids of all ages enjoy the whistles sounding and the lights sparkling as the engines carry the train lover off into a world of enchantment. A $1 ticket will buy a child the opportunity to become a train engineer as they navigate their locomotive across the tracks and through the scene. My daughter and I can sit and watch the trains whirl around the tracks and dream of life in the mini city that’s created just for Festival of Trees. That’s just one of the happy places for me every year at Festival of Trees.

Festval of Trees benefts the entire community by enriching the quality of life in the Quad Cities through the arts. The money raised benefits the Visiting Artist Series,  the Arts Dollars Grant Program and funds the Metro Arts Summer Youth Apprenticeship in addition to other programs.

Bells Will Be Ringing as Festival of Trees kicks off to the public Saturday morning after the parade and runs through the 27th. Tickets available at the door or save $2 on adult tickets through the end of the day today at area HyVee’s. Look for QC Family Focus live on Facebook at 11 a.m. on Friday morning to give you a sneak peak of the holiday cheer available at the 2016 Festival of Trees.

Author: Kevin Walker

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