FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) For 31 years The Historic Embassy Theatre has opened its doors to show off decorated trees for the holiday season. In the spirit of “Warm Winter Wishes,” community members will decorate around 60 trees for the annual Festival of Trees.
The festival began years ago when a group looking to save the Embassy needed a way to raise funds. As the Embassy’s Kelly Updike explained, there was an international movement at the time and across the world organizations had its own versions of tree festivals. They went to a convention, brought the event back and for a long time it was ran by volunteers. Now the festival is run by Embassy staff, but Updike said, “it still takes hundreds of community citizens to make it very, very lovely.”
On Wednesday, Nov. 25, the Festival of Trees will open to the public. These aren’t just any trees. They are pieces of art that have been carefully crafted by designers.
“A lot of them are professional decorators, so you and I might quickly decorate our Christmas trees at home, but to them it’s a work of art, and of course we love that. They make beautiful trees. It’s just really an outstanding, beautiful time at the Embassy,” Barb Richards said.
This year the event will showcase the various trees, Santa Land and animated holiday windows.
“One of our favorite trees the Embassy Organ Crew put together. We have a mobile pipe organ and it’s connected to a tree, so the pipes play on the tree,” Richards said.
The public will also get a chance to see a newly renovated area. The area that connects the Embassy and the Indiana Hotel will be used as Santa Land.
There are also two new events during the festival:
The first new event will be on Monday, Nov. 30. This year the Embassy Theatre is offering a night where families can take as many pictures as they want. Tickets for Family Photo Night are $50 per family and can be purchased from the Embassy box office.
The second new event is on Wednesday Dec. 2 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will feature the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir’s seven ensembles leading the audience in many of the season’s favorite holiday songs at 7 p.m. Visitors will be able to tour the Festival of Trees before and after the show.