Several years ago Ida Church had a vision of seeing a Festival of Trees in Emmett. Despite declining health she and some of her friends kept the dream alive until it came to fruition in 2019. Last Saturday evening the second Emmett Festival of Trees wrapped up with a gala dinner that would have certainly brought a smile to Ida’s face.
Ida passed away shortly before the inaugural Festival in 2019. Dubbed “a Charlie Brown Festival of Trees” for its modest beginnings and expectations, the first event erased that second-hand image immediately and commanded a new place on the holiday ‘must see’ schedule in Emmett.
COVID claimed the sequel in 2020 but the extra time apparently boosted the the appetite for the event this year. When all the lights and greenery were hauled away Sunday, the eight-day celebration at the Gem County Senior and Community Center left visions and memories that will be tough to top in 2022.
With a wide variety of themed trees and wreaths, a tree-bidding dessert social on Nov. 13 and a Gala dinner on Nov. 20, about $15,000 was raised this year to benefit to needs at the Senior Center.
The top tree-decorating prize was awarded this year to Wildroot Farms for a creative “Driftwood Christmas”. This entry departed from the tradition fir tree with a handmade pyramid made entirely of Driftwood and decorated simply with natural items.
Second place was awarded to Craig Woods and Banducci’s for their collaboration on a Boise State Bronco themed tree. Third place was garnered by an Emmett history-theme tree entered by Grit & Grace.
All of the trees were sold on Nov. 13 at the bidding dessert social and then were on public display for the following week leading up to the Gala dinner on Nov. 20. Public voting throughout the week helped determine the honors.
The Gala dinner concluded the Festival with a festive meal and and an additional auction of decadent dessert items and two dozen hand-crafted wreathes. Even the banquet centerpieces went home with willing bidders to benefit the cause.