After the Town of Lakeview Christmas tree was officially lit on Sunday, Dec. 1 at an annual holiday celebration, it was time to begin another cherished Christmas-related activity at the yearly Festival of Trees -- this year held at the former KBE building next to the Alger Theater.
The Festival of Trees runs every night in the first week of December from 4–7 p.m. through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday; culminating with a soiree that evening, starting at 6:30 p.m. The soiree will feature an auction of three of the six trees on display, plus a raffle of the remaining three trees. There will be entertainment as well, culminating with the opening of a new art gallery in the same building. Raffle tickets cost $5 each or six tickets for $20. Tickets to the Festival of Trees soiree party are $15 each, or two for $20.
The trees were beautifully decorated and donated by Ace Hardware, Occupy E Street, Tall Town Bike and Camp, the Lakeview Booster Club, the Town of Lakeview, and Lakeview Ministries. The number of trees presented is reduced from past years by design, as event organizers under the Lakeview Community Partnership this year chose to have only six trees in their quest to bring more money per tree due to the cost of each tree.
Money raised from the Festival of Trees helps fund Lakeview Community Partnership (LCP) activities in the area. According to Ann Logan, LCP president, the Festival of Trees brings in around $2,000 each year. The tradition began in 2015, part of LCP’s multi-faceted efforts to enhance downtown Lakeview based on the Oregon Mainstreet Project model. Among their various efforts have been community events, support for building upgrades, promotion of western heritage, and the acquisition of the historic Alger Theater.
After the Festival of Trees is completed a new art gallery will occupy the spot, which was vacated after KBE was purchased by the Cow Creek Tribe. The gallery is under the control of LCPs Economic Development Committee and is to be overseen by Sandy Watts and Summer Spitsbergen. The art gallery will initially be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each week.
The former KBE building is located at 14 S. F St. in Lakeview.