Festival of Trees & Lights kicks off at Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Festival of Trees & Lights kicks off at Lake Tahoe

Griffin Rogers
Tina Barnwell with Lavish Floral volunteers her time to decorate a Christmas tree for Barton Health's Festival of Trees & Lights, an event running from Dec. 3 to Dec. 7.
Griffin Rogers / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

STATELINE, Nev. — The special events center at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe today looked more and more like a place where Santa could hang his pointy red hat — and he will soon enough, at this week’s Festival of Trees & Lights.

Dozens of volunteers were seen dashing around the events center in preparation for Barton Health’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Many of them spent hours setting up and decorating elaborately designed Christmas trees, which will be auctioned off with accompanying prizes.

Each tree has a different theme and prizes, which will go to the highest bidder. The winner of the Moulin Rouge tree, for example, will receive several free nights in a Paris hotel, two tickets for dinner in Paris and two tickets to Moulin Rouge.

Volunteer Rose Parenteau said the tree and all of its handmade decorations took her about six months to complete.

The Festival of Trees & Lights starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday. Admission costs $5 for adults and $3 for children when open to the public.

In addition to live and silent auctions, the family-friendly event will offer a variety of activities for children, including a Teddy Bear Brunch on Sunday, a Teddy Bear hospital, pictures with Santa, writing letters to Santa and making crafts at the Gingerbread Junction.

A black-tie dinner called The Gala will be held on Dec. 6. Tickets for The Gala vary, but individual admission is $200 per person.

All proceeds raised at the festival will benefit Barton’s Hospice programs and services. Last year, about $40,000 was raised to help expand the hospital’s cardiology department.

“It’s for a good cause. It’s for our community. How could you go wrong?” volunteer Tina Barnwell said.

To view the full event line-up, go to http://www.festivaloftreeslaketahoe.com. Or to purchase tickets for the Teddy Bear Brunch or The Gala, call 530-543-5614 or visit http://www.bartonhealth.org/festivaltix.

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