Thousands of people attend the Festival of Trees each year to see the beautifully decorated trees, meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and gather with the community.
Thousands of people attend the Festival of Trees each year to see the beautifully decorated trees, meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and gather with the community.
Christmas is quickly approaching and the 11th annual Festival of Trees is kicking off the holiday festivities on Nov. 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the East Hall of the Winnemucca Convention Center. 

From meetings and greetings with Mr. and Mrs.Claus, to an array of meticulously decorated Christmas trees and other holiday decorations, the Festival is going to feature something for everyone to enjoy—even the family pets! 

Hosted by the Winnemucca Host Lions Club, the funds raised by the event stay local to sponsor eye exams, glasses, surgeries, and other medical services for those in need, candidates for service dogs, diabetes and wellness, children’s cancer initiatives, scholarships, veterans programs, youth groups, and many other wonderful programs. 

At this year’s ‘Our Family Tradition’ themed festival, families can walk through the Magical Forest of Trees, children can get their pictures taken with Santa, and everyone can enjoy food from the Vendor Village and Food Truck Holiday Train. 

The family pets can also have their photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus on Nov. 25 from 7 to 8 p.m, and Tea with Mrs. Claus — featuring an ornament craft, a lesson in Tea Etiquette, and Christmas stories and songs—takes place on the 26th at 1 p.m. for just $15. 

The beautiful trees, carefully decorated by competitors all striving to earn votes towards first place, are all up for bid as well. Generous bidders can skip the hassle of decorating themselves and take home one of the already furnished trees knowing that their money is going to a great cause. 

According to the Co-Chair of the Festival of Trees and the Winnemucca Host Lions Club Zone Chair, Sunny Johnson, the trees that do not get bid on are donated to families in need, identified through local agencies. 

Johnson recalled a time when a tree and presents were donated to a family that had suffered a tragic house fire. 

“The children’s eyes were very round when Santa and Mrs.Claus arrived with a tree and presents that the tree’s winner donated for them!” 

With two to four thousand people attending the event each year, the Festival is able to be a partner to many different entities in the communities working together to serve families. 

According to Johnson, the Winnemucca Convention Center and the Visitor’s Authority provide the location, Winners Inn and Casino provides cookies and punch, and many others provide their time and a great deal of effort to create a family-friendly and wholesome event. 

Johnson said in an email that “We try so hard to create an event of beauty and joy for our community.  We just hope they enjoy it as much as we do!”

Those with questions or who want to make a donation can contact Sunny at 775-304-0396 or Jenny at 775-304-3768.