Junior League of CU hosting virtual Festival of Trees

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URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Champaign-Urbana’s Festival of Trees event is going virtual this year.

The Junior League of Champaign-Urbana (JLCU) is celebrating its 25th Anniversary Festival of Trees from Nov. 20-22. All weekend events will be conducted virtually, including the Festival of Trees raffle, the introduction of community projects, Santa and Mrs. Claus’s Cookie Workshop, and the presentation of JLCU’s Community Impact Awards.

“This is a milestone year for Festival of Trees. We are excited to continue the tradition and bring holiday cheer to our town, even if some of the events have changed format this year,” says Kelly Valle, Festival of Trees Chair. “The support we have received from the community has been amazing, and we are looking forward to giving back, as the proceeds from this event will benefit JLCU’s community projects.”

Decorated trees and wreaths will be put on display online at festivaloftreescu.com starting at 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17. People in the community can view them from the safety and comfort of their homes.

Raffle tickets will be sold through Junior League’s Festival of Trees website and they will host a live raffle drawing on the Junior League of CU’s Facebook page for the trees and wreaths at 5 p.m. Nov. 22.

All raffle ticket proceeds benefit JLCU’s community impact programs and partners. 

JLCU is holding a virtual Santa and Mrs. Claus’ cookie workshop for children on Saturday, Nov. 21. The event will kick off on Junior League of CU’s Facebook page with a welcome from Kelly Valle and Emily Cross-Vayr at 8:30am and continuing with a storytime with Mrs. Claus at 9:30am.

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Children can enjoy readings of Llama Llama Holiday Drama and The Polar Express while decorating holiday cookies. You can buy cookie kits from Harvest Market in Champaign starting Wednesday, Nov. 19. They are priced at $6 each — shoppers can also donate a kit to children participating in JLCU’s Kids in the Kitchen and Bright Starts community programs for $5.

Kit purchasing times vary. Visit their website for more details.

JLCU is presenting its annual Community Impact Awards virtually at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 on the Junior League of CU’s Facebook page. The Community Impact Awards honors people and organizations who help make the Champaign-Urbana community a better place. Video interviews with the winners will be released the following week.

The Festival of Trees weekend is sponsored by PNC Bank.

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