Festival of Trees and Lights returns | TheUnion.com

Festival of Trees and Lights returns

Staff Report
Tahoe Daily Tribune

With the holiday season officially underway, children and adults of all ages are invited to the ninth annual Festival of Trees and Lights.

The winter celebration, hosted by the Barton Foundation, features events and entertainment from today through Sunday at MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa. Proceeds from the festival this year will help Barton Health expand mental and behavioral health services, according to a press release.

Attendees can expect trees and wreaths decorated by local artists, a children's crafting area, photos with Santa, Teddy Bear Hospital, a gift shop stocked with holiday décor, raffle prizes and a full lineup of live entertainment.

In addition to public viewing of the seasonal spectacle on Friday from 9 a.m. — 1:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. — 2 p.m., the Festival of Trees and Lights offers special events over the course of four days:

Today: Seniors ages 55 and over can attend a Senior Stroll, enjoying the holiday displays, entertainment and light refreshments at no cost, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Friday: Family Night offers a viewing from 5 — 9 p.m. at the family-friendly price of $25 for up to six people (children ages 2 and younger are free), which includes a photo with Santa.

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Saturday: The Gala lights up Saturday night at the festival. This black tie soiree includes a five-course meal, a signature cocktail, dancing, plus silent and live auctions for highly sought-after items.

Sunday: Children and their families can attend the Teddy Bear Brunch from 10 a.m. to noon, where they can write a letter to Santa (who will be sure to write back), and make a visit to the Teddy Bear Hospital; a fun and interactive place to learn about health and hospitals through the care of a complimentary teddy bear.

Special events do sell out, according to Barton, which recommends purchasing tickets in advance.

The 2017 Festival of Trees and Lights will support expanded mental and behavioral services through Barton Health, including improvements to the Barton Community Health Center and crisis intervention training for Barton emergency department and nursing staff.

"The Festival of Trees and Lights provides for exceptional care programs for our community's wellbeing while offering holiday cheer, family fun and excitement for the season," Troy Matthews, executive director of the Barton Foundation, said in a press release.

Visit festivaloftreeslaketahoe.org or call 530-543-5909 for more information or to purchase tickets. Entrance for public viewing is $3 for children and seniors and $5 for adults. Those interested in volunteer opportunities can contact Jenny Taylor with the Barton Foundation at 530-543-5909.