Holiday spectacular "Festival of Trees" returns

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(ABC 6 News) – The ‘Festival of Trees’ event in Rochester returns for the 36th year and donations will contribute towards the Hiawatha Homes Foundation.

Over four million dollars have been raised throughout the event’s history.

“It’s really an opportunity to bring the community together to celebrate the mission of Hiawatha Homes. They do so much in the community to help support people with disabilities; they have their homes they work out of and then also community programs," publicity chair Haley Landherr explained.

Some families have been donating trees for more than 20 years, and a few of them even all 36 years of the event. This year, 80 trees will be spread throughout downtown Rochester.

“I’m always impressed by the different themes that everybody has, I think the Finding Nemo tree this year is my favorite that says just keep swimming all over it. It’s really really cool” stated Landherr on her overall thoughts on the trees and her favorite tree.

While the event did go on last year, it was compromised due to the pandemic. Participants received food they could share with their families and the Opening Night Met Gala was recorded. Although masks are required for attendance, the event is back in person.

Landherr had thoughts on the event returning to in-person this year. “It’s really exciting. It’s a really great way to bring people back together again. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other physically in person for this event, so I think it’s going to be really exciting to see everyone together in the ballroom tomorrow night.”

An online auction will be conducted throughout the week for prizes including mini trees and gift baskets.

Trees will be available for the public to view throughout Downtown Rochester from November 22 and close on November 28.

For more information on the event, click here.