History of The Festival of Trees

The idea for a Festival of Trees in the Springfield area originated in 1988. A steering committee was formed to explore the possibility of a new special event to be called "Festival of Trees." It was hoped that the Festival would appeal to all ages, while providing funds for new programs and projects at Memorial. A small-scale Festival was held November 21, 1989, to introduce the concept to the community and it was a great success. Memorial's Festival of Trees was born. Plans were made immediately for the first Festival of Trees to be held in 1990, and the rest is history.

The Festival of Trees has grown to a nine-day event featuring more than 150 trees and wreaths decorated with exquisite care by area designers; an elaborate hand-crafted Gingerbread Village; the Candy Cane Express train; the Little Elves' Workshop craft area; Snapshots with Santa; a Boutique full of unique gift items; hand-decorated gingerbread cookies; and a live entertainment area featuring dozens of musical performances. Each year, the Festival adopts a different holiday theme, challenging designers to create original displays and offering something new for visitors.

Nearly 30,000 visitors attend the Festival annually, thanks to the support of our sponsors, designers, and a dedicated committee of volunteers who plan year-round to organize this successful community event. About 1,000 Festival volunteers staff this annual event.

Memorial's Festival of Trees raises funds for projects that improve the quality of healthcare available to residents throughout central Illinois. Since its inception, the Festival of trees has raised over $3.2 million for projects at Memorial Medical Center.

For more information, contact the Festival of Trees at (217) 788-4301, or email us.