The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 10, 2012

Kick off the holidays at festival


DANVILLE — Provena United Samaritans Medical Center Foundation opens its annual holiday gift to the community today when the Festival of Trees begins its run at the David S. Palmer Arena.

The event has become a true part of the holiday season around vermilion County, continuing to grow and refresh its offerings each year. From the arena’s main floor filled with dozens and dozens of specially decorated Christmas trees to the hours of entertainment provided by local performers to the many special events that dot the festival’s calendar through its end on Thursday night, the Festival of Trees has attractions for all ages.

The proceeds go back into the community in a number of ways to help those who might not always be able to help themselves, to educate residents about healthy lifestyles and for other special projects.

In addition to the treats of sight, scent and sound for adults, the festival offers the younger crowd a number of events. Perhaps the most popular has become The Polar Express, based on the popular children’s book and film, where participants — wearing the holiday pajamas — board special buses at the Village Mall. Conductors on the buses guide everyone to the arena, where special guests read the book aloud and area elementary students sing selections from the movie.

The Festival of Trees is a great way to enter into the holiday season. Be sure to set aside some time between now and Thursday night to plan a visit.