SALT LAKE CITY– The trees are now set up on the floor at Vivint Arena for this year’s Festival of Trees. It’s the 50th year of the fundraiser benefiting Primary Children’s Hospital, and it runs December 1-5, 2020.
With the pandemic, it has to be virtual-only. But they hope it can still be a magical fundraiser and continue the tradition for families.
The arena floor has 170 beautiful trees all plugged in and decorated from the bottom to the top.
Linda Meyer has decorated a tree for 29 years in memory of her daughter Nicole, who was treated at Primary Children’s Hospital before she died.
“She wanted to decorate her own tree, and the year we were going to do that was the year she passed away,” said Meyer.
She was only going to do one tree to fulfill her promise to her daughter. But she said the joy she felt helped her grieve, and she has kept decorating every year since.
This year’s tree she named, “Merry Christmoose to You.”
“I saw these adorable moose a year ago, and decided that would be our theme this year,” she said. “Every year it changes, every year I don’t know quite what it will look like until it is actually decorated. But it is a lot of fun to put it together.”
The virtual Festival of Trees set up
While the fundraiser is only virtual, they still needed a place to put everything.
Because of the pandemic, Vivint Arena was not having any Utah Jazz games or concerts during the time frame, so the Miller family offered it up.
“In an abnormal year, we are glad we were able to do some good,” said Vivint Arena senior vice president of Events, Mark Powell.
There will be live-stream from the arena on December 4th with two Primary Children’s patients and singer Alex Boye.
The trees are on the arena floor, where reporters got individual socially distant tours on Monday. People can go to makegoodgrow.org to zoom in among the trees and build their own once the festival officially goes live.
Upstairs at street level are more decorations for bidding and buying that can also be viewed at the fundraiser’s website.
“Not only can you shop the fabulous Festival fudge, but there are also quilts for sale, centerpieces, wreaths, all of the traditional items that you see at Festival of Trees that everyone is so excited about,” said Primary Children’s Hospital CEO Katy Welkie.
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