Festival of Trees returns with some COVID-19 adjustments


A favorite for many, the festival of trees returned once again on Friday evening.

This year however, the festival looks a little bit different.

Here is more on how the Festival of Trees is giving the community a sense of holiday cheer while also making some adjustments.

Some people said that the Festival of Trees is making the holiday season feel a little more normal.

The Festival of Trees normally takes place at the Bayfront Convention Center, but this year it’s a drive thru event at Fairview Business Park with all of the proceeds going to Saint Vincent Hospital.

“With so much being canceled this year for COVID-19, every car that we’ve been greeting has you know shouted Merry Christmas and they’re just excited to be here and have something to attend,” said Christine Bowen, Executive Director of Development at AHN St. Vincent Hospital.

The owner of the electric company lighting up the Festival of Trees said he is glad to contribute to an event that gets people in the holiday spirit.

“Get their mind off of COVID-19 for once and it’s all about the kids and I couldn’t be happier to be part of this project. It’s one of the coolest events I’ve ever done,” said Matthew Shalkham, Owner of Shalkham Electric.

One person who participated in this event said that this drive thru version sends a message of hope to the community.

“It gives people hope, the feeling of tradition and it gives people hope for the season that even with the pandemic as bad as things have been this year, we’ve got a little joy for the season,” said Howard Miller, Participating in the Festival of Trees.

Miller added that since he couldn’t be a part of the nativity scene his church usually participates in, he decided to create a new tradition.

“A light show outside of our church up there on Oliver Road and I don’t think they were gonna do it this year. So we contacted the Festival of Trees and St. Vincent people and we kind of had a partnership so we could do it here,” said Miller.

For more information about the Festival of Trees, click here.

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