The 17th annual Festival of Trees opens its doors Saturday at the David S. Palmer Arena for the official start to the holiday season.
This year’s festival includes an attempt at 5:30 p.m. Sunday to break the world’s record for the most number of elves in one place — pointy ears and hats required — and a new centerpiece in the area that is a 22-foot tall tree made of books. The Polar Express event, where children in their pajamas can ride special buses accompanied by conductors and chefs from the north side of the city to the arena, remains a popular event.
Dozens of Christmas trees decorated to match the this year’s theme, “Wishes Come True,” will line the aisles.
In addition to all of the sights associated with the holiday season, the arenas will fill with the sounds and scents as well.
Last year, more than 15,000 people visited the festival, and that number does not include the hundreds of volunteers who bring it to life each year.
The serious part of the event is the money it raises for programs that help teenagers to senior citizens across Vermilion County.
Take some time between now and the end of the festival on Nov. 21 to stop by the arena, especially if you’ve never visited the event before. Even the grinchiest of Grinches will enjoy the holiday spirit.