Festival of Trees brings spirit of joy, community unity

Fanciful trees fill the Event Center for the Festival of Trees at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, November, 2014 | Photo by Krissy Ayon of Mesquite Gaming, St. George News

MESQUITE, Nev. — It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the Mesquite Arts Council is celebrating with their 19th annual Festival of Trees Wednesday-Saturday at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino Event Center, 950 W. Mesquite Blvd., Mesquite, Nevada.

Fanciful trees fill the Event Center for the Festival of Trees at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, November, 2014 | Photo by Krissy Ayon of Mesquite Gaming, St. George News
Fanciful trees fill the Event Center for the Festival of Trees at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, November, 2014 | Photo by Krissy Ayon of Mesquite Gaming, St. George News

This community-centric, family-friendly event features a veritable forest of creative holiday trees all decked out in their Christmas finest and ready to please the eyes and hearts of young and old.

The theme for this year’s festival is “joy,” festival chair and arts council board member Aleta Ruth said, and the event will open with a performance by children from Virgin Valley Elementary singing a song that introduces the theme.

In addition to the elementary students, several other community performance groups will lend their talents to the festival stage providing entertainment and delight throughout.

There will also be craft and vendor booths featuring goods from talented artists and craftsman in the community as well as activities for children.

The Festival of Trees has long been the biggest fundraiser for the Mesquite Arts Council, Ruth said, and money raised from the event helps support the council in bringing performance groups to the community and provides scholarships for students at the High School.

“Last year we were able to provide three $350 scholarships,” Ruth said.

Fanciful trees fill the Event Center for the Festival of Trees at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, November, 2014 | Photo by Krissy Ayon of Mesquite Gaming, St. George News
Fanciful trees fill the Event Center for the Festival of Trees at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, November, 2014 | Photo by Krissy Ayon of Mesquite Gaming, St. George News

The festival also lends its support to other organizations in the community. There will be a special night dedicated to veterans, the Angel Tree will be set up during the festival and there will be a food drive at the door.

Patrons who bring two cans of unexpired food will receive $1 off their entrance to the festival.

“In all ways this event is about the community,” Krissy Ayon, director of entertainment for Mesquite Gaming said. “To me, it is the perfect community event.”

Mesquite Gaming sponsors the event and provides a home for the fanciful trees.

All about the trees

“My favorite part of the festival is the trees … the stars of the show,” Ayon said. “It is so fun to look at the creativity that goes into the trees. These are not store bought decorations, these people go all out.”

Every year around September, Ruth said, she sends out a letter to local businesses, religious groups and families inviting them to participate in the festival by decorating a tree.

Fanciful trees fill the Event Center for the Festival of Trees at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, November, 2014 | Photo by Krissy Ayon of Mesquite Gaming, St. George News
Fanciful trees fill the Event Center for the Festival of Trees at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, November, 2014 | Photo by Krissy Ayon of Mesquite Gaming, St. George News

For some, it is a way to advertise their business but mostly it is about lending support to the community that they live in.

“I love, love the trees,” Ruth said. “It is so fun to see how creative the people in our community are and how supportive they are.”

After the festival, each participant picks up their tree and takes it home, Ruth said.

The festival runs Wednesday-Saturday and tickets can be purchased at the entrance.

“It is such a great way to get in the mood for the holidays,” Ayon said, “to really get your engines running for the season.”

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T  •

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Event details

  • What: 19th annual Festival of Trees
  • When: Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 18-21 | Wednesday, 4-8 p.m. | Thursday, 3-8 p.m. | Friday, 2-8 p.m. | Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Where: Event Center, CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, 950 W. Mesquite Blvd., Mesquite Nevada
  • Cost: $4, $1 off with two unexpired cans of food

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