Festival of Trees

festival-of-treesIf you have never been to the Vacaville Festival of Trees, then consider this your official invitation and make this the year you attend. It’s a great way to create a holiday tradition with your kids or grandkids, while supporting Vacaville’s homeless shelter, Opportunity House.

A premier event in Vacaville, Festival of Trees kicks off with a formal Gala dinner and auction of uniquely adorned Christmas trees on Monday, Nov. 28, at the Vacaville Skating Center. The Festival itself opens Tuesday, Nov. 29 and continues, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., through Thursday, Dec. 1.

pics-w-santaFestival of Trees is a tradition Vacaville has been celebrating for 25 years. In that time, it has raised more than $1.2 million for Opportunity House by auctioning off fully decorated trees and selling crafts and baked goods.

Full size and miniature trees are decorated by members of nonprofit organizations, schools, churches and clubs in Vacaville and Solano County. These aren’t just any trees. The trimmings have been well thought out and include gifts, toys, gift cards, festive garlands and ornaments that bring to life each themed tree.  Last year’s favorites included the “Elegant Peacock,” “Owl I Want for Christmas,” and the “Nutcracker Tales.”

Festival attendees are invited to bid on the trees to take home for their own. Auction bidding begins at the Gala and closes at 8 p.m. Thursday. Last year, $42,000 was raised on the auction of trees alone. Who knows what wonders are in store for this year’s trees! Of course, window shopping is welcome but most can’t just look.  Don’t miss an opportunity to bid on the Christmas tree of your choice.

deer-treeIf you have young children or grandchildren, note that Wednesday, Nov. 30, is Children’s Day.  Starting at 3 p.m., kids can participate in special arts and crafts, seasonal drawings, face painting and a scavenger hunt.  Families can take a photo with Santa Claus by a warm fire and pick up printed copies or have them sent by email.

festival-breadThroughout the Festival, unique handmade and holiday items are sold, as are delectable treats. Cookies, brownies and holiday goodies are available for snacking on site – or buy extra for the office or a party. Items are created and donated by community volunteers. If you would like to donate your own handiwork or baked item, sign up online at www.VacavilleFestivalofTrees.com.

If you choose to enjoy your Sweet Shoppe items at the Festival, you may do so while listening and watching local school choirs and music programs. Live entertainment begins each day in the late afternoon and runs throughout the evening.

The entire family will enjoy all the Festival has to offer, but shop, bid and eat knowing that all proceeds go directly to Opportunity House, whose residents, for various reasons, find they are in need of help and shelter. Festival proceeds go directly toward all aspects of running the shelter, including providing the sack lunches that O-House, as it is affectionately referred, supplies to any person in need.  What better time of year to contribute to an organization that helps our community and its inhabitants all year long?

If you have any questions about Festival of Trees or Opportunity House email:  VacavilleFoT@gmail.com, visit www.VacavilleFestivalofTrees.com, or like the Festival on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter (#VacaFestival).