Since 2014, the Festival of Trees has provided fun and festive activities for all ages. Held the weekend before Thanksgiving on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and 19, it is a perfect way to kick off the holiday season.
Sponsored by Dakota Hope Clinic, the Festival will again be held at the ND State Fair Center. One hall is dedicated to the “Holiday Shoppe”, a vendor showcase. A Silent and Live Auction provide shopping options. The Holiday Bake Sale” is a great place to pick up homemade treats for Thanksgiving observances.
Tickets are on sale now at festoftrees.com for the traditional “Dinner and Auction” on Saturday, Nov. 19th. With auctioneer, Ben Stiegelmeier, the Live Auction of decorated trees and other premium items, is sure to generate excitement for attendees and those participating through the livestream at home. According to Director of Development, Tim Knutson, “anyone who wants to support the mission, but does not need a tree, will have an option to donate their tree to a Dakota Hope client family or a local non-profit.
The trees provide the setting for local musicians and dancers to showcase their talents. New performers on stage this year include the Heritage Singers, Gordy “Crazy Fingers” Lindquist, Celebration Ringers Handbell Choir, Minot Chamber Chorale, Pianist Karen Atwood, and the Pivo Brass Quintet. These family friendly performances are free and open to everyone. Daniel Starks will return, this time performing at the Dinner and Auction.
Popular annual attractions include a 5K Race and Family Fun Run, and Free Professional Family Photos. New this year are Free Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides.
Festival Chair, Amanda Olson, shared “because everyone is busy, we added more activities that will help attendees check off items on their to-do list. In addition to the shopping and family pictures, the Make-n-Take Classes led by Karen Anderson of Grammy’s Cards and Diane Kessler with Diane’s Designs, will get families started on other holiday tasks.”
Just like the Christmas Trees that point heavenward, “Follow the Star” allows children to catch a fresh vision of what the holiday commemorates – the night when the Creator of the Universe made the journey of the unborn, then a newborn child…just like all of us.
“We have inspiration, food, and free activities that the whole family can enjoy while they learn about and support Dakota Hope” shared Nadia Smetana, clinic director. “Go to the website, festoftrees.com for all the details and to purchase tickets for the Dinner and Auction.”
Dakota Hope Clinic, now in Tioga as well as Minot, provides free, confidential, life-affirming services and long-term support to women and men facing an unintended or otherwise stressful pregnancy. Contact them at 701-852-4675 (office) or 701-852-4673 (client line), or at dakotahope.org.