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Festival of Trees puts you into the holiday spirit

A magical winter wonderland awaits you at the annual Providence Festival of Trees, filled with the sights and splendor of the season. It all happens at the Medford National Guard Armory.

Hosted by Providence Community Health Foundation, the annual Providence Festival of Trees fundraiser showcases stunning Christmas trees and displays decorated by local businesses, interior designers, florists and other talented people. The festival also features an assortment of holiday decorations, including designer tabletop trees and mini-trees, wreaths and displays.

“When you walk into the Festival of Trees, you’re walking into a winter wonderland surrounded by Christmas trees, with floor-to-ceiling white drapes and stars hanging from the sky,” says Katie Hutchinson, executive director of Providence Community Health Foundation. “It’s something that people say really helps them get into the spirit of the holidays.”

The event is expected to raise three-quarters of a million dollars for Providence Breast Center, palliative care, Swindells Resource Center, charity care and Providence Cardiology.

Over the past 27 years, the festival has raised more than $9 million to benefit the programs and services of Providence Medford Medical Center, and 2018 was a record-breaking year with more than $615,000 raised at the Gala Dinner and Auction alone.

The festival opens Wednesday, Dec. 4, with an elegant dinner by Larks, holiday party and auction (it’s already sold out).

On Thursday, Dec. 5, the merriment continues with a holiday party featuring local wines, beers, restaurants, caterers and music by deejay Jes Webb. Tickets to the party are $75, and reservations are required.

Public tours of the trees are open Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6-8. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5, with seniors getting in for free Friday, veterans free (with ID) Saturday, and kids free Sunday, which is the day when kids can buy or bring a toy bear and take it to Teddy Bear Hospital for x-rays. The bear hospital, photos with Santa and the holiday store — full of giftable items — are happening during all public viewing times, Friday through Sunday. Trees will be raffled, with raffle drawings at 3 p.m. Sunday.

“Inspiration from beautiful trees and creative new ideas will motivate you to get your decorations out,” Hutchinson says.

And if the enchanting Christmas trees and displays weren’t jubilant enough, the festival has plenty of live entertainment as well, including South Medford High School Choir, Sacred Heart Catholic School Chorale, Eagle Point Choir, North Medford Jazz Band, South Medford Jazz Ensemble, Ballet Folklorico, One Voice, Turning Point Dance Studio, Merry Tuba Carolers, Medford Dance Arts Center, Siskiyou Violins, Rogue Valley Alphorns, America’s Best Kids Dance, Miss Diana’s School of Ballet, Fusion Academy Dance and D6 Elementary Choir.

Kim O’Gara, Foundation board president, says, “I’ve been involved with the festival since the beginning, and every year I see new ideas and amazing talent from our tree designers. All this dedication to support my community hospital. This is quite the group effort for a very good cause.”

A full listing of details, tickets and schedules are available online at providencefoundations.org/events.

{ }Kalynn Breedlove and her great-grand mother, Eloise Kausler, admire the Race to the Finish tree designed by Ian Lambert at the Providence Festival of Trees. The tree won in two categories, most original design and children's choice. Mail Tribune file photo