Festival of Trees highlights Lone Tree businesses

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There may not have been any glistening snow, but there were certainly plenty of shining lights at Lone Tree’s first annual Festival of Trees at the city wellness center. 

The festival takes a classic premise and uses it to bring awareness of the Lone Tree community. Twenty local organizations and businesses put together festive trees in various styles, nine of which were for silent auction. Julie’s Fountain of Flowers provided beautiful décor for the event.

“What we wanted to do was showcase our small businesses, that’s why we chose Small Business Saturday,” Carmen Donovan, the center’s wellness coordinator, said. 

There were some unique designs featured. The Farmers Merchants and Savings Bank made a pink tree with a giant piggy bank decoration, and Mincer Country Catering added cookies and pies at the base of their tree. The school’s Lady Lions Volleyball Team decorated theirs with pink plastic flamingos and a sign saying, “You got flocked!”

A plethora of visitors, including plenty of families with children, came throughout the evening to view the trees and bid on their contents. The event ran from 4- 8 p.m. 

The festival cost a dollar to get into, although various bids went up to dozens or hundreds of dollars. Visitors could also purchase a ‘Light Up a Life’ candle to commemorate a deceased loved one which would shine on a tree in the main lobby throughout the holiday season.

Proceeds from the event went towards children’s activities at the wellness center.

“We hold one huge one on Wednesdays,” Donovan said, “and every other Saturday we’ve been holding smaller kids’ workshops, so it’ll go to help support all of that.” 

One particular event she and the other staff want to put together is a LEGO club. 

Donovan, who has been in her position since August, was inspired by a similar festival from her previous hometown. 

“I came from the community of Montezuma, and they used to have [an event] at their church like this,” she said. “I always thought it was a great idea.”

Wellness center staff member Janelle Terhune aided her in setting up and decorating for the event, and Donovan was additionally assisted by her husband and her sister throughout the evening.

Donovan said she was pleased with the community reaction to the festival and hoped to put on more Festivals of Trees in the future. 

“Turnout has been wonderful, more than what I expected, and everyone’s been enjoying the trees,” she said. 

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