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by Jessica Waytenick • October 12, 2017

Quad Cities – Quad City Arts Festival of Trees is the kickoff to the holiday season in the Quad Cities and it takes place November 17-26, 2017.

Held for the past 30 years, the popular volunteer-driven and organized Festival of Trees is a spectacular ten-day family event at the RiverCenter, 136 East Third Street, in downtown Davenport, Iowa.  All the displays are in the south building.  Each year, over 100,000 people experience the magic of the Festival of Trees.  It’s a holiday tradition for many families to come to Festival of Trees.

The event features uniquely designed trees from 4 to 9 feet, both traditional and nontraditional, stunning designer displays, handcrafted stockings and ornaments, and a variety of miniature designs.  There will be a new 18-foot animated tree of twinkly LED lights, synched to popular holiday songs! Watch in wonder, as the light show comes all a glow at different times during Festival.  The large train exhibit created by the engineers at IMEG is a delight as the train works its way through the snowy Austrian village.

The Festival also features a gingerbread village created by both amateur and professional bakers, a special gift shop, a 20-foot Toy Tree and a Book Tree, performances on CenterStage, appearances by Santa, and the North Pole—an expanded, over the top, children’s activity center with fun activities for the entire family.

Festival of Trees hours are typically 9 a.m.-8 p.m. each day except for Nov. 17, Sundays and Thanksgiving Day.  It is open 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Friday, November 17.  Sunday, November 19 is 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and it is Military Day with $2 discounted admission offered to military members (with military ID) and their immediate families.  Sunday, November 27 is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it is Family Day with $1 discounted admission for the whole family.  It’s closed on Thanksgiving Day.  General admission is $10 adults; $6 seniors; $3 children 2-10 years.

Family Day on Sunday, November 27 features a fun Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt, where kids can search for 10 hidden Waldos in the trees of the Great Hall, and be entered to win some fun prizes!  Where’s Waldo Santa Spectacular Sticker books will be available for purchase in the Gift Shop and Kwik Star will be giving away coupons for free hot chocolate! 

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Festival of Trees Holiday Parade happening Saturday, November 18, 2017.  The parade begins at 10 a.m. and goes through the streets of downtown Davenport.  There will be all-new huge helium-filled character balloons including Papa Smurf, Cookie Monster, Angry Birds, Santa Elmo, and more!  With over 20 balloons, it’s the largest balloon parade in the Midwest!  Also joining the parade line-up is marching bands, the Distinguished Clown Corps, over 50 organizations, and Santa in his bright, shiny, red Santamobile. 

Additional Events

There are additional ticketed events that happen in conjunction with the Festival of Trees.  There is the Cheers! Beer & Wine Party, Silver Bell Social for seniors, Festival Premiere Party, Teddy Bear Tea, Sizzlin’ Soiree for a girl’s night out, SugarPlum Ball for dads and daughters, and Celebrity Lunch.  Tickets can be purchased on the website at www.quadcityarts.com/festivaloftrees

Festival of Trees is partnering with the Putnam Museum & Science Center in Davenport this year to bring you a favorite holiday classic on the big screen on Saturday, November 25 at 1 p.m.  Enjoy a special movie screening of Jingle All the Way on the Putnam’s National Geographic GIANT Screen Theater.  Make your own FREE hot cocoa with assorted toppings before making your way into the movie.  A wide selection of raffle baskets will be available and concessions will be open for purchase. (1) General Admission ticket to Festival of Trees included with each movie ticket purchased.

For more information on the event schedule and ticket prices, contact Festival of Trees at 309-793-1213 or visit their website at www.quadcityarts.com/festivaloftrees

Discover these and many more marvels on the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities.  Contact the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-747-7800 or visit their website at www.visitquadcities.com.

The Quad Cities is located on the Mississippi River and is made up of the riverfront cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois.  The area is just a 2-½ hour drive from Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. It is easily accessible via I-80, I-74, I-88 and several major state highways.

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Festival of Trees Media Contact: Karie Gilson, 309-793-1213, x104 or kgelles@quadcityarts.com

Photos & Media Trips: For High-res photos or for information about media tours, please contact Jessica Waytenick at the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-747-7800 Ext. 827 or jwaytenick@visitquadcities.com.  

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