Festival of Trees boasts holiday performances, beautiful trees, more


After 35 years, the Fort Wayne Embassy Theatre’s tradition of the Festival of Trees, only gets better. If a person had no other way to tell when Thanksgiving was around the corner, they should look no further than the Embassy’s schedule. The Festival of Trees always gives visitors something to look forward to, and the beautifully decorated trees are just one part of the fun and the ambiance that evokes the holidays of yesteryear.

Scheduled to begin Nov. 27 and to last until Dec. 4, Festival of Trees is one event that serves as a primer to the holidays, while being a main event and holiday tradition in its own right.

A Fort Wayne tradition: Festival of Trees

Festival of Trees 2019 looks to be the Embassy’s best ever. And it is easy to state that every year because it seems as if the event grows and grows.

For people who have gone to the event in the past 10 years or so, the smell of popcorn, the delightful sights of trees decorated according to stated themes from classic children’s books to the city’s minor league basketball team, there seems to be a tree for everyone’s taste.

Some visitors to the Festival of Trees enjoy voting on their favorite trees. When attendees enter, they receive a program listing the trees, with a section for voting on the back. The trees are often too lovely with no clear winner, only a top three or five. But, choose visitors must.

Despite the name of the event, there are more than just trees at the festival. A showing of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” will take place; performances by the Fort Wayne Ballet and other groups will also entertain visitors.

The trees are decorated and placed throughout the lobby, up the stairs and down. The music from performances or movies in the main stage area often permeates the atmosphere. Even though it is possible to see the trees on Thanksgiving, that almost indescribable feeling of “the holidays” surrounds The Festival of Trees.

A variety of performances and showings will add even more to this year’s event. For more information about each day’s scheduled activities, visit http://www.fwembassy.org.

More than 150,000 people are expected at Festival of Trees. Children 3 years of age and younger are free, but everyone must have a ticket. Pricing is also available at the Embassy website.

The purpose of The Festival of Trees is to raise money for the Embassy Foundation. The funds generated by The Festival of Trees and certain other Embassy programming are used to maintain and upgrade the historical building that was erected in 1928.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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