For as little as $1, those who attend the Sixth Annual Festival of Trees in New Baden could go home with a tree ready to welcome Christmas.
The holiday event starts Thursday with a demonstration of tree decorating, and continues throughout the weekend with events for families and a craft fair, as well as the popular tree raffle.
The festival, held at St. George Community Life Center at 317 E. Maple St., in New Baden, is hosted by Zion United Church of Christ. Admission is $5 for the craft fair, with a dollar off for seniors or for those donating a nonperishable food item or a toy; and $3 for children between 3 and 12 years old.
“It’s a fundraiser for Zion United, for the new church wing,” said Leanne McDonald, the festival director. She said the five previous years have raised more than $30,000 for the educational wing.
In early November, the festival had promises for more than 30 decorated trees for the festival, with at least 20 available for the raffle. It will also have at least a dozen decorated wreaths that will be raffled off.
Raffle tickets are $1 or six tickets for $5. Winners will be drawn Sunday afternoon, and trees should be picked up Sunday or Monday.
▪ A tree “Glitz & Glam” decorating demonstration by florist Grimm & Gorly, of Belleville, at 7 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $10 and includes one raffle ticket. To make reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Leanne at 618-224-7825.
▪ The Festival of Trees is from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday,9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Some trees are for display only, but most are part of the raffle and all are donated. Raffle tickets are $1. Admission is $5, or $3 for children aged 3 to 12. Admission is $4 for those age 55 and older, and for anyone bringing in a food item or toy for the New Baden Food Pantry. Admission to the Festival of Trees includes admission to the craft/vendor fair listed below.
▪ Kid’s Pajama and Movie Party starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday. It’s $8 and includes a visit with Santa starting at 6:30 p.m. and the movie “Santa Paws” at 7 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made by emailing email@example.com or calling Leanne at 618-224-7825.
▪ Breakfast with Santa is at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Saturday and is $8 for children and adults. Reservations are recommended and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Leanne at 618-224-7825.
▪ The North Pole Shoppe vendor and craft fair, with about 20 vendors, is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5, or $3 for children aged 3 to 12. Admission is $4 for those age 55 and older, and for anyone bringing in a food item or toy for the New Baden Food Pantry. Admission into the craft fair also includes admission into the Festival of Trees.