Festival of Trees opens Friday

By John L. Braese

The Enterprise

ONTARIO – The holiday season is officially upon us as the Festival of Trees opens a three-day run on Friday at the Clarion Inn in Ontario. The event will feature approximately 30 decorated trees along with wreaths and decorations for viewing and sale.

As in past years, the festival benefits the local charities Help Them To Hope and Meals on Wheels. The festival is currently celebrating 28 years of highlighting the season and raised $20,000 last year. The Ontario event is the sole fundraiser for the year for the local Meals on Wheels program.

Meals on Wheels serves local elderly residents while Help Them to Hope provides food, clothing and toys to those in need during the holiday season.

The doors open at 7 a.m. and admission is free from 7-9 a.m. along with cinnamon rolls, juice and coffee. After 9 a.m., admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children.

On Saturday, the doors open at 9 a.m., closing at 7 p.m. From 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., children will be admitted free to enjoy a visit with Santa, holiday crafts, write letters to seniors receiving Meals on Wheels, decorate and eat cookies, and have some face painting done.

On the final day, Sunday, the doors will open an 10 a.m. and close at 3 p.m.

All the trees, wreaths, centerpieces and ornaments on display will be for sale. The fully-decorated trees sell for $300 to $800.

“As we did last year, those attending will be able to vote for their favorite tree,” said organizer Debbie Blackaby. “We are looking for a big turnout and hope all enjoy this year’s festival.”