Optimistically Cautious

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Festival of Trees 2007

After attending the Festival of Trees in 2006, and finding it nice but not worth returning to, I was surprised that I found myself looking forward to it this year. May and I made a date to tour the decorated halls, and headed there after supper on Friday.

May smiles by the hall entrance

Beautiful welcome display

Like last year, there were a lot of kids, trees, and lights. While the trees are undoubtedly pretty, after a while, they all start to look the same. It's an unfortunate result of proximity and quantity - alone in a home, the individual trees would be unquestionably stunning and festive, but together, all but the really unusual or unique stand out. There seemed to be several "streams" of trees - those that used flowers, those that used fruit, and those that embraced stuffed animals as accents. My favorite on the floor was the "Good Words for Africa" tree, that hung ornaments of words made using Scrabble tiles, in addition to photos of families and children.

Mirrored table setting

Arctic display

Hockey tree (note the plastic Stanley Cup on top!)

Snowman tree

Polar bear tree

Orange tree

Flower tree

"Good Words for Africa" tree

The festival's Gingerbread Village actually took us thirty minutes to get through - half of that spent waiting in line to view the handmade creations. The "houses" were much more creative this year, I found, with a number of memorable submissions. Many cartoon and fictional characters (including Shrek, Calvin & Hobbes and Charlotte's Web) were represented, but my vote went to the detailed "Santa's Western Wonderland", featuring Mrs. Clause as a vocal performer with Santa taking a bath upstairs.

"Calvin and Hobbes: Snowman House of Horror" - too cute.

Charlotte's Web farm

Closeup of "Some Pig"

"Santa's Western Wonderland" front

Back (amazing, isn't it?)

With jazz wafting in the background (provided by the Grant MacEwan Arts Outreach band), it was a lovely way to spend a pre-holiday evening. Perhaps this will become a yearly tradition after all (the rest of my pictures are available to view on Flickr).

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