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The City Journals

The Festival of Trees is back with its first in-person event since 2019

Nov 29, 2022 01:03PM ● By Peri Kinder

The Festival of Trees is back for its 52nd year and for the first time since 2019 people can attend the event in person. Benefiting Primary Children’s Hospital, the festival takes place at the Mountain America Exposition Center (9575 State St.) from Nov. 30 – Dec. 3. 

“I think because we did lose two years of in-person festivals that the public and all of the decorators are so excited to be back,” said Jonique Dyer, Festival of Trees co-chair. “It was a great thing to keep the tradition going for a couple of years virtually and not lose any of the magic from the festival.”

Festival attendees get to see extravagantly decorated trees, beautiful wreaths, hand-crafted gingerbread houses, holiday centerpieces and displays, playhouses and quilts that are available in the silent auction. For those who want to purchase same-day items, the fudge shop, gift boutique, elf emporium and kids’ corner provide fun holiday treats and gifts. 

Most trees are created in honor of a person, either a loved one who has passed away or a person that inspires others. Dyer has helped create a tree for the festival for 22 years but decided several years ago to design Triumph Trees to recognize heroes in the community. 

They started with a tree to honor a friend’s little sister who was a cancer survivor and this year they decorated a festival tree to honor a man in their congregation who had become a quadriplegic due to a motorcycle accident. 

“He’s just a giant of a man and a stellar part of our community,” Dyer said. “So we put a tree together to honor him and what he means to the rest of us.”

Some of the favorite trees at this year’s festival include a Star Wars tree featuring dozens of action figures, some from the original movie in 1977. Another tree features The Nightmare Before Christmas-themed, hand-painted bulbs that are works of art. 

“You really are buying art,” Dyer said. “When you look at these things, there's just so much time and love and energy that goes into these displays. The intricacy of the things they do are just unreal. People plan all year long.”

The Festival of Trees is open Wednesday, Nov. 30 – Friday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit IntermountainHealthcare.org/foundation/festival-of-trees

“There really is something for everyone here, so that’s what makes it a great family event,” Dyer said. “A lot of times the families come and it’s healing for them, it’s a way for them to honor their special someone.”