Memorial Medical Center sets record with Festival of Trees

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Memorial’s Festival of Trees is going virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s festival will be held Nov. 21-29.

The community will be able to view more than 100 decorated trees and wreaths online at no cost. The usual $5 admission fee to the Orr Building, where past festivals have been held, will be waived.

This season’s previously announced theme, “Bling in the Season,” has been changed to “A Season of Hope.” The theme, “Bling in the Season,” will be used for the 2021 Memorial’s Festival of Trees.

“First and foremost, Memorial Health System’s highest priority has always been the health and safety of those patients who enter our facilities. That applies equally to Memorial’s Festival of Trees,” said Melissa Hansen Schmadeke, executive director of the Memorial Medical Center Foundation. “Anyone will be able to view online the amazing work our decorators have done transforming our trees and wreaths to reflect our theme of “A Season of Hope.” We revised the theme to encourage everyone that together we will conquer COVID-19 and to not lose hope.”

People will be able to vote for their favorite trees and wreaths in different categories by visiting Memorial’s Festival of Trees’ Facebook page through a photo album of trees and wreaths. There’s no cost to vote.

Other events will be offered including free and take-your-own photos with Santa. The photos will be held during Downtown Springfield Inc.’s Holiday Walks. Times and dates are still being finalized and will be announced later.

Visitors to the Old Capitol Farmers Market, 3 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, will be able to buy traditional Festival of Trees potholder kits from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and Nov. 21.

The online store, which will go live mid-October, will feature apparel with both the Festival of Trees and A Season of Hope themes.

A new item available on the website will be a free downloadable coloring book featuring Flat Santa. People are encouraged to print off and color Flat Santa, photograph him around town and post them to the Festival of Trees’ Facebook page.

Popular attractions, including the Gingerbread Village, Little Elves’ Workshop, Candy Cane Express Train, North Pole Toy Shop, Holiday Kitchen and the Sockefeller Skating Rink, will not be held this season.

The Memorial’s Festival of Trees Gala will be closed to the public. The gala will continue as a virtual event open to sponsors only.

During its 30 years, Memorial’s Festival of Trees has raised more than $5.5 million for health-related projects and programs for Memorial Health System and the Springfield community.

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