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A weekly series focused on Bloomington-Normal's arts community and other major events. Made possible with support from PNC Financial Services.

Kicking off the holiday season with The Baby Fold's Festival of Trees

A view of some of the trees at Festival of Trees
The Baby Fold
The Festival of Trees returns to the Interstate Center beginning Thursday, Nov. 18.

What’s that in the air? That holiday feeling of lights, ribbon, and a central Illinois tradition returns for 2021 with an in-person OR online option.

The Festival of Trees returns to the Interstate Center in Bloomington beginning Thursday, Nov. 18, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 21, with the giant silent auction that supports families and children in need with “hundreds of custom Christmas trees, centerpieces, wreaths and so much more that you can bid on,” said Sam Guillory, development director of The Baby Fold that benefits from the event.

With a variety of trees and other holiday decor, the emphasis also is on this being a 28-year-old community tradition for everyone, with a “guarantee that there is a tree for every single person out there," Guillory said.

And after a year where a lot of events looked different, Festival of Trees included, “we are keeping some of the most successful components of last year this year and bringing them to Festival 2021,” like have an online option, but also providing a curbside pick-up service as well for any of the items won, Guillory said.

It truly is the kickoff to the holiday season in central Illinois and “we’ve made it safe, fun, and enjoyable for the entire family,” that helps out local kids, Guillory said.

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Ariele Jones is WGLT's assistant program director and host of Morning Edition, Highway 309, and Center Stage.
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