This week, weseeslctrees made our way to Sandy to see just what kind of Christmas trees Utah’s Festival of Trees had to offer. For those of you unfamiliar with this annual charitable event, here’s a quick primer:
- This is the 44th year the Festival of Trees has been held.
- Every penny raised by the festival goes to help children at Primary Children’s Hospital.
- This year’s festival has over 800 trees of all sizes, as well as other holiday décor.
- Individuals, organizations, and corporations decorate and donate every tree at the event.
- Every tree is for sale, with many auctioned off during the opening night gala.
- The most expensive tree at the auction this year reportedly fetched $25,000.
As soon as we breached the inner doors of the South Towne Expo Center, we could only stop and stare in amazement at the indoor woodland wonderland around us. No mere saplings when it comes to surveying scores of Christmas trees, weseeslctrees’ seasoned seasonal scouts were quickly taken aback by the sheer scale of this event.
This picture does no justice to the size of the event until you realize how far those lights go on, and that each gap between lights represents about 2 rows of trees.
The hall contained hundreds of trees in all shapes, sizes and colors, lined up in rows wide enough to accommodate a never-ending river of battleship-sized strollers, nattily-dressed teens on wholesome dates, and parents trying to corral their kids as they pinball off of every knee in sight, shirttails flying as they squeal in delight.
(Seriously though, the place was packed. Why aren’t all of these local Christmas tree fans reading Salt Lake’s premier Christmas Tree Blog?)
Each tree was accompanied by a placard showing the name of the tree, the designers, and information on the trees availability for purchase, including the names of those who had already purchased trees to adorn their homes or offices. Many of the trees were dedicated to the memory of loved ones lost, decorated in the fashion he, she or they would have enjoyed the most.
In short, the entire experience was nearly overwhelming. Themes and colors engaged our senses at every turn. Simply capturing photographs of noteworthy trees meant trying in vain to stop the relentless queue of people, heads turned to the right, staring slack-jawed at each new tree design. It was a loud, overcrowded, bright, distracting, wonderfully perfect example of holiday cheer that weseeslctrees was ecstatic to be a part of.
Now that the scene has been sufficiently set, it’s time for a few reviews. We’ll start with two trees, one tall and one small, that each won a weseeslctrees exclusive award named for two of Utah’s favorite, famously-sized residents.
The Gary Coleman Tiniest Tree Award Winner
At 4 feet tall, “Angel” was the smallest of the full-sized tree division entrants. It was so short, that even when placed on its rotating pedestal, “Angel” was still several boughs shorter than most of the trees at the festival.
The creators of this tree packed a lot in to the diminutive design, covering nearly every inch of the tree with halos, wings, snowflakes, globes, and decorative sticks.
This white-on-off-white-on-white color scheme left us feeling like this was the Christmas tree version of that fancy porcelain statuette in your Grandma’s curio cabinet that your rambunctious cousins broke playing red rover in the living room that one time at Easter. The delicate design and fragile appearance made us glad it was on a pedestal so nothing could send this “Angel” crashing down to earth.
The Shawn Bradley Tallest Tree Award Winner
“An English Christmas”
Of all the traditionally-designed trees in the room, weseeslctrees’ favorite also happened to be the Festival of Trees’ tallest entrant. Listed conservatively at ten-feet, but considerably taller than others at claiming that height “An English Christmas” towered as an example of the classic style of tree décor done just right.
Bright red berries, mistletoe, and poinsettia petals intermingled with globes and other unique ornaments, each in amounts that simply complemented the other design elements. Soft white lights and decorative ribbon subtly flowed from the top of the tree down to the tree’s faux-granite base, which nestled into the luxurious red felt tree skirt just as cold feet nestle into slippers that have been warmed by the fire.
This stately tree left observers feeling as if, for just a moment, they had left the hustle and bustle of the festival and entered the tastefully festooned parlor of an English country manor just as the holiday season began in full.
These are only two examples of amazing trees from our adventure that we think SLC should see. Keep checking weseeslctrees in the next few days to see more from our trip to the Festival of Trees. Continue reading