The purpose of the Festival of Trees and dramatic reading of the Charles Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol, is to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy decorating a tree together, as well as supporting the Mission Christmas Bureau.
After the event all the decorated tress will be given to the bureau to be distributed to families and seniors in Mission.
In the past four years, the festival has raised close to $5,000, provided 79 decorated Christmas trees, collected hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food items and many gifts, all of which were donated to the Mission Christmas Bureau.
There have been 164 volunteers who donated their time over the years to help out and make the festival such a success. In addition many entertainers have donated their time and talent.
Admission to this year’s event is by cash donation and you are allowed to vote for your favourite trees by ticket (three votes per person).
The decorated trees will be displayed and voted on by all the visitors to the festival. Recognition and People’s Choice Awards will be announced on Saturday evening at the dramatic reading
Also during the evening the total proceeds raised for the Mission Christmas Bureau will be announced.
The event this year is special as it is dedicated to Phil Hope as a thank you for his many years of service with the Christmas Bureau.
The organizing committee will be decorating a tree in his honour. There will also be musical entertainment, refreshments, children’s activities in the afternoons and, on special days, you can have your photograph taken with Santa among the beautiful decorated trees.
The official opening is set for Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 3:30 p.m. which will feature CanDance Studio dancers.
The Festival of Trees takes place at All Saints Anglican Church Hall, at the corner of 2nd Avenue and James Street in Mission. It is open from Dec. 5-8 from 3 to 8 p.m. and on Dec. 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. The dramatic reading takes place Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.