The 17th Annual Festival of Trees will be “Making Spirits Bright” Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2012, at Opportunity Village in Clear Lake. Proceeds from the Festival of Trees support services for people with disabilities at the non-profit Village.
More than 100 Christmas trees, wreaths and swags of all sizes are decorated by local groups, individuals from the community, and design professionals. Festival visitors can admire their handiwork and buy an entire display with decorations to take home after the weekend. Delivery can be arranged in the Mason City or Clear Lake area for the larger trees for a $25 fee.
The Festival of Trees will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. General admission to tree displays on Saturday and Sunday is $2.
Tickets for Opening Night and Breakfast With Santa are available online at www.fot2012.org, along with general information about the Festival.
Dean Snyder Construction, Stiffel Nicolaus, and Corporate Farmer are main sponsors for the Festival.
All Festival events are held at the Village, located north of Fareway off Highway 18 in Clear Lake.
The weekend gets off to an elegant start with “Opening Night” from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. Tickets are $20 each for this gala evening, featuring hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and live music by Nonsemble from the Clear Lake Arts Council. People have been known to line up at the door waiting for the 5 p.m. opening just to get first crack at picking out a tree. Buyers can pick up their trees Sunday afternoon, so they remain on display all weekend. Opening Night is sponsored by Hy-Vee East.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, the day starts early with “Breakfast With Santa” from 8 to 11 a.m. The Clear Lake Knights of Columbus #7898 will prepare a hearty pancake breakfast. Tickets for breakfast are $7 each or $4 for children 5 and under. This includes general admission to the tree displays. Santa will be on hand Saturday morning to share the excitement. Pictures with Santa are $3 or you can bring your own camera.
Santa’s Workshop and The Secret Shop will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Santa’s Workshop offers free, fun crafts for children. The Secret Shop is for children only, giving kids a chance to do some Christmas shopping for people on their lists. All items will be priced between $3 and $8, and elves will be on hand to help select and wrap the secret gifts.
Tree displays are open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Various musical entertainment throughout Saturday will enhance the hall of trees. Sponsors for Saturday events are CL Tel, Breakfast With Santa; Lake Dental Associates, Santa’s Workshop; and Master Floors Carpet One, the Secret Shop. Live musical entertainment lends holiday spirit throughout the day.
Sunday, Dec. 2, features a Cookie Walk with a large selection of homemade holiday cookies and candies for sale. Visitors can hand-select and purchase an assortment of goodies by the boxful for enjoyment at home. Boxes are $10 or $14. The Cookie Walk starts at 11 a.m. and runs until sold out. The tree displays continue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Other features of the weekend include gift baskets for sale and a “mystery box” sale.
Visit www.fot2012.org for tickets and information on the Festival of Trees. Tickets also are available at the Village General Store in Clear Lake or at the event.
For more information about the Festival of Trees, call Elda Stone, 641-355-1241 , or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Festival is part of a community-wide celebration “Christmas By the Lake.” For more information about Christmas by the Lake events, call the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce at 641-357-2159 .
Based in Clear Lake, Opportunity Village serves nearly 600 people with disabilities throughout the northern part of Iowa. All proceeds from the Festival of Trees support this non-profit agency’s work for the local community.