The Festival of Trees will return to Wartburg College starting Nov. 29, and will go until Dec. 14. The festival is held at Wartburg on the ground floor of the Classroom Technology Center (CTC). The festival is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
More than 5,000 guests attend the Festival of Trees each year. Most festival attendees visit in conjunction with Christmas with Wartburg, Christmas Greetings on Main, Wartburg’s December Commencement, the Wartburg Community Symphony holiday concert and Wartburg’s Candlelight Vespers Service.
“It’s just another event to build excitement during the Christmas season to get people on campus and the community involved,” Joni McDonough marketing and communications and ITS office coordinator said.
The Wartburg-Waverly Festival of Trees began in 2011 as a partnership between the college and the Waverly Chamber of Commerce. During the festival, academic departments, offices and student organizations at Wartburg and the community display Christmas trees that represent their organization/business and celebrate the season.
Last year there were 26 trees and so far this year there are 12 organizations signed up and a few of them are sponsored by the alumni office, the art gallery, the journalism and communications department and marketing and IT.
“We use the Festival of Trees for a couple different things, one it’s a fun kind of project for our student interns that take ownership of it,” associate director of alumni & parent relations Anthony Smith said.
“On the other side it’s just great representation of Wartburg. In the Alumni and parent office we have a lot of pride and tradition, so any time we can put some orange and black on things we’re going to do it.”
Another organization that is possibly going to have a tree is Student Senate.
“We have a lot of Outfly decorations that just stay in the office until somebody throws them away…and I thought it would be cool to use our Outfly decorations for that,” Student Body President Naomi Alene said.
Last year, two trees and some decorations were stolen from the hall where they were set up. One of the trees was the ITS tree and the other was a Chamber of Commerce tree. The ITS tree never came back, but the Chamber tree did and there is no knowledge as of why they were taken and why only one was brought back.
“We didn’t make a big deal out of it, campus security was aware of it,” McDonough said. “They are there for everyone to enjoy and to brighten the halls.”
If any organizations on or off campus are interested in having a tree this year, the registration deadline is Nov. 20 and the website is www.wartburg.edu/trees.