Record-breaking attendance for 31st Annual Embassy Festival of Trees
Fort Wayne, Ind. --- The 31st Festival of Trees at the Embassy Theatre concluded on Dec. 2 and set an attendance record of more than 20,000, surpassing last year’s total by nearly 1,000 people.
This year’s festival featured 59 trees sponsored by area businesses with themes such as “Purple Passion,” “The Good Old Days…Years of Old” and “The Night Before Christmas.” Besides the trees, the event featured Breakfast with Santa, a Family Photo Night and a Community Sing-along with the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir. The festival was also the first opportunity for the general public to see one of the newly renovated spaces at the Embassy, as Santa Land was housed in the new mezzanine lounge, formerly administrative offices.
Thousands of festival attendees voted for their favorite tree and the People’s Choice winners for this year is, “Cinderella’s Midnight Wish” sponsored by Moake Park Group and designed by Scott Hermance. Second place goes to “The Christmas Bride,” sponsored by Marry Me in Fort Wayne and designed by Christine Leto and third place is “The Real Super Heroes,” sponsored by 21 Alive & NBC 33 and decorated by Erin Fritz.
1st Place, People's Choice
2nd Place, People's Choice
3rd place, People's Choice
Many people participated in games that added to the fun. Winners are:
- Bikes from the Bike tree – Audrey Barry
- Carson’s “Snowman” Tree– Colleen Jimenez
- Four tickets to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Broadway at the Embassy – Anna Morgan
- Fort Wayne TinCaps four-seat, 12-game package – Jeffrey Martin
- Jefferson Pointe gift cards – Meggan Jackson
- Moake Park’s “Cinderella’s Midnight Wish” tree – Kaela Shepherd
- “Peppa Pig Live” tree – April Federspiel
- Vera Bradley merchandise – Cathy Wise
- Wells Fargo Money Tree – Pete Bodle
Festival of Trees is the Embassy’s signature fundraising event and dollars raised benefit the nonprofit’s operations and programming. The 32nd annual Festival of Trees will take place Nov. 23-30, 2016.
Founded in 1984, the Festival of Trees is a fundraising and community goodwill event. Revenue supports ongoing operational and restoration efforts for the Embassy Theatre Foundation, Inc.
The Embassy Festival of Trees offers organizations a unique opportunity to participate in an annual community event and the Embassy Theatre Foundation’s largest fundraiser:
Youth Performance Education Opportunity --- Youth entertainment on the Embassy stage is the highlight of the festival, with regional dance groups filling 22 performance slots on the stage during the weekend festival hours. The youth performances provide an entertainment backdrop for the festival and young dancers receive an opportunity to experience performing on the Embassy’s Broadway-scaled stage.
Community Visibility --- The Festival of Trees attracts more than 18,000 visitors annually to the Embassy Theatre. Beginning with the Night of Lights, the Embassy is a featured stop in the city’s annual downtown lighting ceremony, offering the opening of the Harrison Street holiday windows and the opening night for Festival of Trees.
Community Collaboration --- This event opens the doors to Fort Wayne and surrounding communities and gives the public the opportunity to participate as patrons, musical performers, event volunteers, sponsors and/or tree decorators. The Festival of Trees is proud to partner with other downtown holiday festivals to make downtown the finest holiday destination in northeast Indiana.
Economic Development --- In keeping with its mission to “preserve and operate one of Indiana’s largest historic theatres,” the Embassy manages ongoing restoration and maintenance efforts, all with the primary goal of improving and securing the theater for future generations. These efforts are accomplished by offering diverse programming and events and welcoming more than 110,000 patrons and performers each year