Jubilee of Trees Kicks Off Christmas Spirit
The moment you enter the Dixie Center in St. George, Utah, you feel the excitement.
Adults, couples, teens, children, and parents with strollers lined up to buy tickets chat expectantly. Strains of music, applause and ripples of laughter filter through the entrance doors. Children stretch forward trying to sneak an advance peek into the festive wonderland that awaits inside.
The Jubilee of Trees lies just on the other side of those doors.
As you take the first step inside the event, the flurry of sights, aromas and sounds overwhelms you. In a moment, the Jubilee of Trees sharpens into focus.
“Jubilee of Trees is a holiday tradition celebrated by thousands throughout Southern Utah while raising funds that has been an annual event for over 30 years raising critical support to enhance healthcare at Dixie Regional Medical Center.” (intermountainhealthcare.org)
“This has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember,” one teenaged attendee said. “It gets me in the Christmas Spirit.” Her mother added, “I come to get ideas for my tree.”
Mammoth snowflakes hang suspended from the black ceiling, providing the sense of an evening of winter wonder. A snow-frocked castle sits astride the entrance walkway guarded by nutcracker sentries. The perfect stage to snap the first of the evening’s we were here photos.
The North-Pole style street sign directs visitors to their destinations amid the Santa Village facades concealing the shopping delights and information displays along the event’s perimeter.
Straight ahead, past the first avenue of meticulously decorated and staged Christmas trees, is Santa. Ho ho ho-ing to the delight of all the children waiting for the opportunity to sit on the jolly old elf’s lap and share their Christmas wishes.
To complete the illusion of Santa’s village, the shingle hanging in front of each shop reflects the North Pole image. The words advertising the Little Elves Workshop hang on a linked paintbrush, pencil, and crayon suspended above the entrance.
The Jubilee trees have been decorated and donated by local businesses and benefactors. Bidding this year on the trees, dinner settings, mini trees, and wreaths is by texting the Jubilee Bank.
With themes on the towering trees such as “Linking Generations through the Magic of Literature,” “A Vintage Christmas View,” “Soft Whispers of Christmas,” and “Once there was a Snowman,” finding a favorite may be difficult.
Jancee Wright designed the “Cozy Cottage Christmas” tree. Its display is complete with a rocking horse, wooden sled, wooden skis and ski poles, and a rocking chair beside a hearth completed by stockings hung from the chimney with care. She said, “My daughter was a patient at Dixie Regional for treatment. I like being able to give back for all they did.”
You find the source of the enticing aroma you noticed upon entering the Jubilee. A food court and sweets shop. Gingerbread houses like nothing you made as a child topped with edible shingles and decorated with Victorian grace. Helpers roll carts laden with baked and spun goodies through the crowds.
Hundreds of guests mill contentedly through the displays, shops, and trees. Live entertainment on the central stage fills the venue with music and humor and draws the crowd’s attention with choreographed dancing. It’s a spectacle for guests of all ages.
The doors have closed on this year’s Jubilee of Trees. Volunteers are delivering trees to the highest bidders. The Dixie Center event hall stands empty, waiting for its next exciting event. The funds raised at this year’s event are on their way to support enhanced healthcare at St. George’s Dixie Regional Medical Center. If you missed it this year, plan now to be part of the Jubilee next year.
The Jubilee of Trees is one of hundreds of exciting events here in St. George, Utah every year. Keep checking back to find out what event is coming up next.