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SANDY -- It's a tradition that draws in thousands of people and benefits a great cause: The annual Festival of Trees begins Wednesday. Hundreds of decorated trees will be on display at the South Towne Expo Center.
In its 39th year, the Festival of Trees is as bright and happy and spectacular as ever. This year, more than 800 trees are lit and on display for people to enjoy and, of course, bid on. All of the money raised goes to benefit the children at Primary Children's Medical Center.
Each tree takes on a life of its own, truly its own personality. Civic groups, church groups, and families work throughout the year to create the trees -- many in honor of children who have benefited from Primary Children's Medical Center and the great service and care that they received there.
Last year, the festival trend, if you will, seemed to be "Twilight." This year, the trend seems to be, simply the life of a child. Many of the trees are very traditional in decoration and in theme. They take on really simple themes that reflect the true nature of the event and what it's all about -- and that is the children.
The festival's publicity chair, Sharon Smith, is inviting the public to come out and enjoy the trees and help the children in the community.
"The hospital belongs to the community. The Festival of Trees belongs to the community. If everyone will come out tonight, buy a bid number, help a child. Every single penny helps the children at Primary Children's Medical Center," Smith says.
She says creating the trees is a healing process for some families and a way to celebrate the lives of those they loved.
The festival opens Wednesday, Dec. 2, and will stay open until Saturday, Dec. 5. Tickets for adults are $4, and $3 for children. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.