the Starlight Gala, an invitation-only event that sells out each year. Once trees are auctioned off, they remain on display through the rest of the weekend until a moving crew arrives Monday to deliver them to their new homes. Upstairs on the mezzanine level of the Civic Center, there are hundreds of table-top trees, wreaths, swags and stockings that have been decorated by creative members of the Helena community and beyond. Individuals register online to reserve an item then pick up from Intermountain a tree or wreath to return decorated to the Civic Center on Decorating Day. All these mezzanine-level creations are available for purchase through the silent auction. Bidding is open through every event of the week, closing on Sunday afternoon. The magic of the festival can be enjoyed by all ages with the number of event participants reaching 10,000! If you wish to donate or volunteer you can find an array of opportunities on the Festival of Trees website: intermountain.org/fot This year’s theme: The Sparkle of Hope WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4 TH Tea in the Trees Each host/hostess brings in their own dishes and décor and sets a tea table that is truly a work of art. Guests enjoy tea, lunch, tea-exclusive raffle and silent auction items, and a program which includes a speaker sharing an Intermountain story and encouraging guests to support the work of Intermountain. A limited number of tickets will be open to the public on November 1. Not-So-Silent Night ~ Christmas Carol Throwdown! First, local musical groups will treat you to a showcase of some favorite Christmas songs. Then… it’s ON! Get ready to witness the fast- paced, fun and wacky Christmas Carol Throwdown! This friendly musical competition will have you laughing and gasping and rooting for your favorites as groups get eliminated through various rounds of competition. The last two groups remaining will face-off for the final Christmas Carol Throwdown! This competition isn’t about judging talent; it’s about enjoying good music, good cheer, and having a blast while benefiting a great cause! There’s even a chance for some audience participation, and, of course, raffle prizes.
The Cider & Hot Cocoa bar complete with oodles of toppings might end up being the real winner of the night. Grab your kids, teens, grandparents, neighbors, and random strangers and enjoy a family-friendly, alcohol-free evening surrounded by the splendor of the Festival trees and the sounds of the season. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5 TH Special Needs Day Groups that work with the special needs community enjoy time among the trees in an uncrowded, low-sensory environment which includes gentle live music, cookies, and an opportunity to approach Santa if desired. Evening in the Trees A night of strolling through the trees while enjoying live music, food, champagne, and tempting raffle/silent auction items. $25 tickets will go on sale November 1 at various businesses throughout town and are available at the door as well (16 and over). SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 TH Jingle Bell Jam This year’s Jingle Bell Jam will be a totally awesome 80’s Dance Party featuring live music with The Mighty Flick! Those 21 & over will enjoy dancing, food, drinks and of course strolling through two levels of finely decorated Christmas trees and more. Leg warmers, big hair, and 80’s fashion are encouraged, but not required. Tickets are $20 in advance at ticket locations or $25 at the door. SATURDAY & SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7 TH & 8 TH Family Days There are so many things happening during Family Days! Kids can visit Fun Land for Christmas crafts and activities, spend time on the ballroom floor writing letters to Santa or decorating cookies, grab lunch at the concession stand, and enjoy the overall excitement and Christmas cheer that abounds. Meanwhile in the auditorium, the weekend holds a packed schedule of performances by local youth organizations showcasing their talents in music, dance, and more. Tickets available at vendors or at the door, are $5 each and free for 11 & under. n
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