About the Festival of Trees

Last Updated: 9/5/2019 8:17 PM

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The Festival of Trees kicks off the Holiday Season in our community. More importantly, the event raises money that helps school children in the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District.

The Festival is organized and presented by the District’s Education Foundation and the Idaho State University Credit Union. It relies on the generous support of businesses, community organizations and individuals who sponsor events or decorate and purchase trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, centerpieces and displays. With volunteer help from the District’s wonderful staff and community, the magic of the holiday unfolds.

Nearly as fascinating as St. Nick, himself, is the transformation of the lovely, cold marble of the Stephens Performing Arts Center into the warm and delightful winter wonderland of the Festival of Trees.

In Pocatello, the Festival of Trees has a tradition of excellence and elegance developed over many years. It is held in a stunning venue atop the Pocatello hillsides which adds to the event’s beauty and interest.

The event, which is the communities’ premier holiday attraction, will be held November 19th through November 23rd at the Idaho State University L.E. and Thelma Stephens Performing Arts Center. Once the Center is transformed into the magical winter wonderland that is - The Festival of Trees - there will be something to delight everyone. Families are encouraged to make it an evening of magic together!

Proceeds from the event help local kids receive a quality education. Again this year, all proceeds will go toward the purchase and installation of 21st Century technology for use by teachers and students, and to establish a fund for teachers to access through competitive grants for instructional enhancements in the classrooms. Last year, over $100,000 in technology was awarded to 45 teachers. This technology will impact the academic success of more than 4000 students every year.

The event kicks off Tuesday, November 19th with the Opening Gala. This elegant and formal evening is enhanced by the Center’s spacious and stunning surroundings. Gala attendees enjoy the company of friends and acquaintances at a social and silent auction amidst the beautifully decorated trees and displays. Dinner and entertainment is in the Center’s spectacular rotunda with its sweeping stairways, marble columns and wall of windows elegantly dressed for the holidays.

The Festival of Trees opens to the general public Wednesday, November 20th at noon and will go through Saturday, November 23rd. The event is open from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Featuring more than 100 beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, centerpieces and gingerbread houses, Festival of Trees also includes many displays, activities and events designed to entertain the entire family. People attending the Festival will be delighted by Santa and his Elves; Gingerbread and Nativities displays; kids crafts known as Santa’s Workshop; Stories Under the Christmas Tree; a Raffle Tree; Gift Shop; Talking Tree and daily entertainment provided by various performing groups and individuals.

Trees, wreaths, centerpieces and gingerbread houses are sold by silent auction throughout the Festival of Trees. The silent auction of trees, wreaths, centerpieces and gingerbread houses will close Saturday, November 23rd  at 3:00 p.m

Wednesday, November 20th is designated as Seniors Day. To honor our Senior Citizens and their contribution to our community and our public schools, anyone age 65 and over is admitted free to see the beautiful trees and displays and enjoy the day’s entertainment.

The magic continues with several special events designed to delight all age groups. These include Breakfast with Santa, a Children’s Royal Tea Party and an afternoon Ladies Holiday Tea. The Children’s Royal Tea (formerly Princess Tea) is an elaborate tea party for children, age 3 – 8, wearing their favorite princess or prince attire. At the party, each child receives crumpets and tea in the form of a light snack, enjoys the best Disney show in Idaho, participates in activities with celebrities, and receives gifts and a tee shirt. Breakfast With Santa is geared to families with children ages 2 – 8 who will be delighted with a light breakfast, fun activities and a special visit from Santa Claus.

If you would like to be a sponsor, donate a decorated tree or wreath or volunteer for the Festival of Trees, contact Shawna Sprague at 208-235-3231.