Providence Celebrates 35 Years of Twinkling Lights and Holiday Magic - All with Kids at Heart
November 15, 2017
Experience the magic of the holidays through the eyes of a child at the 35th annual Providence Festival of Trees in Portland.
Children experience the holidays with an innocence and joy that brings warmth to this special time of year. Caring for children and giving them every opportunity to reach their potential is the mission of Providence Children’s Health and the focus of this year’s festival.
Providence cares for more than 100,000 Oregon children each year, and 1 in 5 youngster has a special health care need. It takes more than medical care to comfort these children and their families. Child Life Specialists, NICU Parent Liaisons, Swindells Resource Center and My Little Waiting Room are crucial programs that help keep the whole family healthy.
Attendees at the 2017 Providence Festival of Trees will be able to share in the magic of the season, while supporting the essential services needed by many children in the community. People of all ages will be dazzled by the elaborately decorated Christmas trees, wreaths and holiday displays at the festival. Children will delight in the dozens of activities including a visit with Santa, caroling, crafts and cookie decorating. And, new this year, youngsters can enjoy movie night at the festival with their family, dressed in their favorite pajamas.
5:30-10 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 30: gala dinner and auction
10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1: public events for all ages
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2: public events for all ages
Oregon Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland
Public show admission: $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $8 for children ages 3-12.
Children 2 and under admitted free with an adult. Tickets available for purchase online. Visit www.providence.org/festivaloftrees for more information, a discount coupon and to purchase tickets.
Portland begins its annual celebration of the holidays with one of its premier community events – Providence Festival of Trees. This is a year-long, volunteer-driven project with nearly 75 professional and amateur designers volunteering thousands of hours to turn a corner of the Oregon Convention Center into a winter wonderland and holiday village. Nearly 20,000 people are expected to experience the 2017 festive gathering with75 trees of all sizes decorated with nearly 100,000 twinkling lights. More than 600,000 people have attended the festival since it began in 1983.
Special trees to look for this year include:
- Tree # 1: Rose City ‘Til I Die – It’s been a great year to cheer on the Timbers and Thorns! This “fan”tastic display includes signed jerseys, Timbers and Thorns tickets and enough Thorns and Timbers gear to fill your biggest stocking and get you ready for the 2018 season.
- Tree # 16: The Winner’s Circle at Derby Days – The pomp and circumstance of the Kentucky Derby comes alive in this showcase that includes a trip for two to this historic horse race plus tickets to the opening party. Stuffed ponies and derby hats are also part of this unique tree.
- Tree # 17: Christmas in Rip City – Stay warm and dry by the light of the tree as you cheer your favorite team onto another championship year. This tree includes tickets to an upcoming game, a signed basketball and jersey and enough gear to outfit your whole family.
In addition to the wonderful trees, family activities abound at Providence Festival of Trees:
- NEW– Family movie night, 6 p.m., Friday Dec. 1 – Put on your PJs and enjoy the classic holiday movies “Frosty the Snowman” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Popcorn and holiday goodies will be served.
- NEW – Raffle Tree Way – Would you love to have one of this year’s displays in your home for the holidays? Buy a raffle ticket for your chance to make your holiday unforgettable.
- NEW – Visit Wrangler’s house – Wrangler is a facility dog who comforts and calms children in the Children’s ER at Providence St. Vincent. His dog house includes interactive activities for kids and lots of opportunities for photos.
- Teddy Bear Hospital – Children ages 12 and under can bring in their teddy bears (or get one at the festival) and learn all about health and hospital care in a fun, interactive space with Providence doctors, nurses and caregivers. Their journey through the ambulance, emergency room and operating room helps build confidence and calm fears.
- Portland LEGO® User Group Train Display – Don't miss the LEGO and train display designed by PortLUG, or Portland LEGO User Group. The display will feature familiar scenes of Portland, including Providence Park, food carts, a farmers market and the Max train. In addition, holiday-themed scenes will be hidden in the display, such as a Christmas tree farm and Santa delivering presents via medical helicopter to a hospital.
- Photos with Santa – Be sure the little ones get to spend a few minutes with the Jolly Old Elf. They can whisper their wishes to him as a professional photographer captures the special moment. Photos with Santa are available for $10. Personal cameras are also welcome.
- Santa's Workshop – The big guy could use a few more elves in “Santa’s Workshop.” Stop by and make a special gift for a loved one. This hands-on feature of the festival offers a variety of activities and crafts to match the skills of all elves.
- Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen – This year Mrs. Claus opens her kitchen and is offering holiday cookie decorating tips. Learn how to create festive-looking holiday treats and sample some of the sights!
Providence Festival of Trees is presented by Safeway. This sponsor support makes it possible to provide financial assistance for Providence Health & Services programs. Over the last 34 years, Providence Festival of Trees has raised more than $16 million, which benefits Providence programs and services caring for the most vulnerable in the Portland community. This year’s event seeks to raise more than $1.3 million, which will support Providence Children’s Health programs including Child Life Specialists, NICU Parent Liaisons, Swindells Resource Center and My Little Waiting Room.
For more information about the 2017 Providence Festival of Trees, please go to www.providence.org/festivaloftrees.