Friday, December 11, 2009

Festival of Trees, 2009

This was the third year Ross and I went to the Festival of Trees. We love it! We went last Thursday and had a great time.

This year, I got to the South Towne Center a little early, but I didn't have any cash, so I had to wait for Ross to meet us there after work before we could go in and see anything. In the hall, there was a grand piano set up where some piano teachers in the area were having their recitals. The girls entertained themselves by dancing and singing to the music (we were a bit down the hall, so we didn't disrupt the recital). I entertained myself by reading and taking pictures of the girls dancing.

They found these pieces of tinsel on the ground and loved them.
After Ross got there, we walked around and saw all the cool gingerbread houses, and about a third of the trees. When dinner time came, we headed over to the Mayan. Ross and I had only been there once when we were first married, but we thought the girls would enjoy it. They did! The restaurant is all decked out in Mayan style and decorations. The waiting rooms are even full of columns and vines and things. Very cool!
The dining hall features a big waterfall and rock face where every 20 minutes, divers come out and dive to music and act out stories. Very cool! Emma was mad that I wouldn't let her go swimming, but she thought the divers were very cool.
I tried to catch a picture of one of the divers, but they were too fast.

After dinner we went back to the Festival and saw the rest of the trees. We got our pictures in front of our favorite trees.
Ross had two favorites. He likes the Air Force tree behind us in this picture. I don't think he liked the tree so much as all the model airplanes and the tickets to the air show that were included. . .
I didn't love this tree, but I want Ross to build a book case like this for the girls' room. I love it!
Ross's other favorite tree was the Joesph Smith tree. I have to admit, this was a lovely display. The tree was pretty, but they also included a roll top desk with a bunch of books about Joseph, and some frames of the Liz Lemon Swindle series about Joseph. Very cool!
Emma's favorite tree was the Dr. Seuss tree. Yup, she sure is inside the fencing. . . Bad Mommy!
This was my favorite display. There were three trees- one in silver, one in gold, and one in bronze. They symbolized the three gifts of the Magi. I thought the idea was lovely, and the execution was breathtaking. This picture doesn't do it justice. I really liked it a lot.
Emma even enjoyed hearing the story of some of the sick kids that were pictured by some of the trees. A lot of the trees are decorated and donated in honor of children who were treated at the Hospital- some of them alive, and some not. Emma enjoyed hearing about some of the kids who got really sick, how long they stayed at the hospital, and how the doctors helped them. She says she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. :)
Anyway, after we had seen all the trees, Ross got us some cotton candy, and we watched some of the dance performances happening, after which Emma told me she wants to be a dancer when she grows up. I support both of her wishes!
This was a really fun day. I am glad Ross enjoys it as much as I do, and I am glad that the Festival didn't seem to be affected by the bad economy. All of the money spent here, ALL OF IT, goes to the children at Primary Children's Hospital, and I have a hard time imagining any better cause. Even the building is donated for that week, and that is a big deal! The workers are all volunteers, all of the items are donated, and all of the money spent on the trees, admission, goodies, and refreshments go to the Hospital.

Dance and Piano teachers throughout the state pay to have spots for their students to perform, which adds a fun element of entertainment, but also brings out a lot more people to the event because the performer's families and friends all have to pay to get in to see their loved ones perform. I heard a lot of people talking about how they got hooked on the Festival because a niece, grandchild, daughter, friend, whatever- invited them to come and see them perform however many years ago. It is just the perfect way to start the Season of Giving. If you haven't ever been and are in the area, you should really try to find some time next year! Not only is it for a good cause, but it is a lot of fun and very kid-friendly!

1 comment:

emi-jo said...

as someone whose sister is alive due to Primary Children's, i LOVE the festival of trees!! :)

what a fun day for you all!! :D and what a GREAT cause!