"Again this year, the displays and events will be spread throughout the community," Susan Zulk, Festival of Trees committee member, said. "We are partnering with the business community to provide great exposure of what Spencer has to offer. Instead of the displays being in one location, many area businesses are either putting up their own display within their business or hosting a display created by a local organization or individual. We're pleased to have approximately 30 different locations with Festival displays and a few of those displays have multiple trees."
"We also have a few businesses who very generously are offering a portion of sales from specific items as a donation to our designated charity, Women's Health Services at Spencer Hospital," Zulk said.
In addition to the festive displays, FOT events include two Holiday Design Shows on Thursday evening, at Del's Garden Center; the Auxiliary Cookie Walk in Spencer Hospital's main lobby on Friday; Morning with Santa on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Southpark Mall; and the Tour of Homes, also on Saturday, Nov. 17.
"The Festival of Trees offers a great opportunity for people to start experiencing the wonders of the holidays," Zulk added. "Proceeds from Festival events benefit the Spencer Regional Healthcare Foundation whose mission is to enhance healthcare services in our region. Our Festival funds focus on enhancing women's health services."
Festival of Tree Committee members include Jennifer Feldmann, Mindy Gress, Jeannette Hasley, Suzi Harper, Shelly Helmink, Vanessa Moore, Marcia Ramstack, Tori Rasmussen, Kim Smith, Mindy Sylvester, Kris Van Berkum and Zulk.
This year's "Holiday Design Show" will be offered in two sessions on Thursday at Del's Garden Center. An early show will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and a late show will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
"The Design Shows promise to be a lot of fun," Jeannette Hasley, director of Women's Health Services and a FOT committee member, said. "We are so appreciative of Del's Garden Center for hosting the Design Shows as we know our guests will enter a magically decorated area. We'll treat our guests to appetizers, holiday punch and a cash beverage station and then we have several wonderful, creative presentations."
During the early show, design presentations begin at 5 p.m. and at 7 p.m. during the late show. Design experts from Del's will provide tips on holiday arrangements. Kari Roskens, owner of Kari's women's clothing boutiques in Spencer and Okoboji, will present a mini fashion show, focusing on day-to-night wear and accessorizing. Sheila Thomsen of "Innspiration Bed & Breakfast and Vineyard of Linn Grove, will provide wine tasting and also share tips on wine and appetizer pairings. The final presentation, Santa's Secret Spencer Shopping Tips, will provide insight on a few great gifts that can be found locally.
Tickets for either Design Show are $15. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged as seating is limited.
Do your holiday baking the easy way by purchasing an assortment of homemade cookies and candies at the Spencer Hospital Auxiliary Cookie Walk from noon Friday until cookie supplies are exhausted or 4 p.m., whichever comes first. Freeze the cookies to enjoy later in December or nibble on them in November. The Cookie Walk will be in the hospital lobby. Cookies are sold for $13 a box and candies are sold per pound.
Kids and parents alike enjoy "Morning with Santa" which will be held from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Southpark Mall.
"Kids and parents both love this event," Kim Smith, the Festival of Trees committee member who coordinates the morning's events, said. "We'll have several stations providing fun for the whole family, and, of course, the highlight of the morning is the visit with Santa. We encourage parents to bring their cameras to capture that moment when their child is visiting with Santa. In the past we took and printed photos; however, we understand that many people prefer to have the photo captured on their own camera so they can make extra prints, email to friends, or add to photo books."
A few of Santa's elves will be on hand to help children with their craft project, provide each child with a temporary holiday tattoo, entertain at North Pole Limbo, decorate cookies, and mix up some delicious Snowman Soup. Mrs. Claus is also joining the fun, providing Christmas story time. The ticket price is $5 per child. Adult supervision is required but there is no charge to accompanying adults.
The Holiday Tour of Homes offers the opportunity to enjoy a self-tour of five festively decorated homes in the Spencer area. The tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. This tour will feature the homes of:
- Bill and Karen Bumgarner
- Neal and Cindy Drefke
- Dr. David and Shelly Robinson
- Dr. Sonia and Ryan Sather
- Joe and Sue Skow
"The tour is a great tradition for the Festival of Trees," Festival volunteer Kris Van Berkum said. "We greatly appreciate the warm hospitality our host home owners demonstrate in sharing their houses for this charitable event."
Tickets are available for all the events at the following locations: Del's Garden Center, Design Masters, The Hen House and the Spencer Hospital Gift Shop.