McGregor’s Festival of Trees will include a Thursday event this year

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Festival of Trees will kick off even earlier this year, with a special pre-festival event, “Dessert Among the Trees,” on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. People are encouraged to get tickets now for this intimate preview of the illuminated winter wonderland of 45 decorated trees. A ticket will also get you a specialty dessert like cheesecake or angel food cake, wine or other beverage, and holiday musical entertainment.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Festival of Trees committee has already been hard at work planning this year’s ninth annual event, which will be held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8, at Backwoods Event Center, in McGregor. 

The festivities will kick off even earlier this year, however, with a special pre-festival event, “Dessert Among the Trees,” on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. People are encouraged to get tickets now for this intimate preview of the illuminated winter wonderland of 45 decorated trees. A ticket will also get you a specialty dessert like cheesecake or angel food cake, wine or other beverage, and holiday musical entertainment. 

“We’re always looking for something new and different,” said Festival of Trees committee member Rogeta Halvorson. “This will be a smaller setting for people to mingle around the trees and enjoy the ambiance and sights and sounds.” 

To purchase tickets in advance, stop by the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce office, McGregor City Hall or McGregor Public Library. Tickets can be purchased at the door, as well. 

Trees are also being sold now, to be lovingly decorated by local individuals, businesses and organizations. They can be viewed by the public from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, then 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. Attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorites and also bid on the trees, many of which will be sold via silent auction. 

Proceeds from the tree sales will go to the snack pack food program, a local group who makes Quilts of Valor, the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts after school program and the McGregor Historical Museum digitization project. 

Don’t forget about the “Spirits of Christmas” pub crawl at six McGregor establishments Friday evening. Held from 4 to 8 p.m., attendees 21 and older can enjoy unique holiday drinks and other specials. New this year is a “poker run” contest, through which all participants will collect a playing card at each establishment. The winning poker hands will be entered into a drawing for a cash prize worth 20 percent of the total tickets sold.

Other Festival of Trees highlights include a holiday craft sale on both Friday and Saturday, along with a bake sale, special holiday luncheon, children’s activities and photos with Santa Claus on Saturday. 

“There will be a good lineup of music” each day, added Halvorson. 

Halvorson said the committee loves putting on Festival of Trees each year. 

“The committee works for months. A lot of people pitch in,” she said. “It just gives you a good feeling to be there. We love this event.” 

The North Iowa Times will provide more information about Festival of Trees as the event approaches. You can also visit the “Festival of Trees - McGregor, Iowa” Facebook page for more details.

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