Designers are gearing up to transform the Lumpkin Family Center for Health Education at Sarah Bush Lincoln into a shimmering winter wonderland for the annual Holiday Festival, formerly Festival of Trees, now in its 21st year.
The public is invited to share in this magical event, themed “Christmas Wishes,” from 10 am to 8 pm on Friday, November 22, and 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday, November 23. Net proceeds will support “Mobile Miracles,” a capital campaign to support the purchase of a new SBL Dental Bus. The bus will travel to more than 60 locations across seven counties providing preventive and restorative care to underserved children up to age 18.
“Holiday Festival is one of the favorite holiday events in this area and truly gets our community into the spirit of the season,” SBL Health Foundation Special Events Coordinator, Kim Lockart, said. “We’re excited about many new additions to this year’s Festival.”
The event kicks off with an exclusive preview during “Friends Night Out,” from 6 to 8 pm Thursday, November 21. Guests may purchase cash-and-carry items, bid on silent auction items and view the beautifully-adorned Education Center before doors open to the public the following morning. Tickets for Thursday night, which can be purchased in advance or at the door, are $10 each and include a free signature drink.
The event features 4- and 6-foot Christmas trees, centerpieces and home décor items sold by silent auction. Two-foot tabletop trees, 18-inch wreaths and holiday pallet boards, designed by Sarah Bush Lincoln employees and volunteers, will be available for purchase, as well as super soft, short or long sleeved, Christmas Wishes t-shirts.
In addition, the Merry Marketplace will feature retail items such as holiday décor, word signs, scarves and more, while Packages with Pizzazz offer themed gifts assembled in baskets or decorative boxes for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list. Flesor’s Candy Kitchen of Tuscola will also have handmade candies available.
Fresh greenery from Hager Tree Farm, including wreaths, candy canes and crosses, is also available for purchase as well as coupons for a pre-cut 7-foot Fraser Fir Christmas tree. The trees are available for pick up at your convenience from Hager Tree Farm in Charleston, which offers free shaking, bailing and drilling.
The Festival’s premier event is the formal Gala the evening of November 23 where full-size trees, wreaths and specialty items, designed, decorated, and sponsored by community members and local businesses, are sold during a live auction. All items are available for viewing throughout the three-day event and phone-in bidding is an option.
New this year, festival goers will have an opportunity to win a live auction item by purchasing a raffle ticket for $100. The winner can select the prize of their choice from the 30-plus live auction items, which include five amazing travel packages such as a trip to Maui, Hawaii. Raffle tickets can be purchased during the Festival. The drawing will take place during the Gala and the winner’s selection will be reserved before the live-auction begins. You need not be present to win.
“Each year, the Festival continues to grow and once again, we have some truly incredible items that we’re excited to showcase,” Lockart said, adding that musical entertainment by local artists will enhance the atmosphere during the event. “And of course the highlight among our young guests is the chance to visit with Santa Claus.” Children are invited to have their photos taken with Santa, provided by J-Wag Photo, and enjoy Cookies with Claus, donated in part by Mark’s My Store.” In honor of the Foundation’s Mobile Miracles campaign, all children will receive a toothbrush this year, donated by Patterson Dental Company. Kids can also have their faces painted, donated by Wild Style Design Company.
The Festival will again feature the Memory Star Tree, which displays stars purchased in honor of, or in memory of someone special. Following the Festival, people are encouraged to take their star home to enjoy throughout the holidays. Funds raised from the Memory Star Tree benefit Lincolnland Hospice programs.
The Foundation extends a special thank you to this year’s sponsors: Consolidated Communications (Media Sponsor); Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative and Dale and Marilyn Hoots (Title Sponsors); BSA LifeStructures; Jerry and Lana Esker; First Mid, Hastings & Havlik Family Dentistry, Meadowview Golf Course-John & Carol Wade and WCIA (Gala Sponsors); Carriage Crossing, The Cromwell Group, Inc, and Vaughn and Ruth Jaenike Family (Memory Star Tree Title Sponsors); First Federal Savings & Loan, Adams Memorials, Anderson Electric, Doug and Sally Bock, Cedaron Medical, Charleston Family Dental, Corbin Capital Partners, James and Sandra Ernst, Ron and Kathleen Harshman, Leslie Hill, William Hill, Leon and Karen Huffmaster, J & J Ventures Gaming, Kone Elevators, Doug and Tracey McCord, Hank and Jill Nilsen, Sonny and Diana Oakley and Tony and Debbie Sparks (Festival Sponsors).
General admission for Festival of Trees is $3 for adults; children age 12 & under are admitted for free. For more information about the Festival, go to www.sarahbush.org. To purchase tickets for Friends Night Out, call Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation at 217 258-2511.
Festival of Trees Entertainment Schedule:
Friday, November 22
10:00 – TBD
11:00 – Green Wave Singers
12:00 – Floyd Phillips
1:00 – Bonnie Horner
2:00 – Charleston Consort
3:00 – Charleston Schools Music Ensembles
4:00 – Charleston Schools Music Ensembles
5:00 – East Central Harmony Chorus
6:00 – CCB Sax Quartet
7:00 – Sentimental Journey
Saturday, November 23
10:00 – East Central Harmony Chorus
11:00 – Kimmy LaMonto
12:00 – Sandra Ernst