11-20 Festival of trees

A beloved Christmas tradition, the Festival of Trees will return in Lakeview Dec. 1-7 at the former KBE Building on F Street.

A celebrated Christmas tie-in with the Town of Lakeview’s Tree Lighting ceremony will return on Sunday, Dec. 1 in a new locale, as the Festival of Trees will return for a week showcasing six well-decorated Christmas trees to be given away.

Coordinated by the Lakeview Community Partnership (LCP), the event enters its fifth year in Lakeview. Starting this year it will take place inside the former KBE Building on F Street adjacent to the Alger Theater, which will coincide with the building’s grand opening, repurposed as a new art gallery under the direction of LCP.

Beautifully decorated trees are being provided by Ace Hardware, Occupy E Street, Tall Town Bicycles, the Lakeview Booster Club, Town of Lakeview, and Lakeview Ministries. Trees will be available for public view starting on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m., immediately following the Town of Lakeview’s planned tree lighting ceremony. The trees will remain on display for public view each day from 3-7 p.m. until Saturday, Dec. 7 when a LCP-hosted holiday party will auction off three of the trees, and give away the other three via raffle. Trees will be auctioned around 7:30 p.m.

According to LCP President Ann Logan, the annual event, aside from quickly becoming a beloved element of holiday celebrations in Lake County, has raised approximately $2,000 every year for LCP’s efforts. It is overseen by the Promotion Committee of LCP, which previously also coordinated the downtown Daly Days celebration – which was cut after too many ancillary activities piggy-backed on the same day, diluting turnout. In the time since, the Promotion Committee’s primary focus has been the acquisition and subsequent operation of the historic Alger Theater.

Tickets to the LCP holiday party are being sold for $12 each, or two for $20. According to Logan, the decision to reduce the number of trees was done with no preferential treatment, the first six organizations to agree to provide a tree were approved on a first-come-first serve basis.

The Festival of Trees has survived despite a dubious first year, where a leaking roof at the historic Round-up Building led to a struggle to de-ornament and relocate trees to a safer site. Despite the last-minute scramble, the event has endured and entering its fifth year has become a steadfast tradition issuing in the start of the holiday season.

The former KBE Building is located at 14 S. F St. in Lakeview. For more information about the Festival of Trees and LCP, visit www.allaboutlakecounty.com or the Lakeview Community Partnership Facebook page.

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