Last night I made my first-ever trip to the Festival of Trees, and the only thing more surprising than the fact I drove to Sandy on purpose is that there were actually some pretty cool things to see.---
Granted, much of the event is exactly what you'd expect: 220,000 square feet filled with more than 800 decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, candy shops and bands playing holiday tunes, all overseen by a cadre of volunteers who have this event down to a science. They pretty much have to, since 90,000 people roll through the Festival of Trees each year.
I entered as a skeptic, for sure; never made sense to me to pay good money to go look at trees other folks decorated (especially without some holiday spirits in my hand, and my belly). Obviously it's a good cause—the fest earned $1.4 million for Primary Children's Medical Center last year—but still, I'm enough of a Grinch to not want the holiday spirit shoved in my face.
That said, there were some genuinely clever trees worth the $5 price of admission. Randy's Records decorated a tree that came complete with a refurbished 45-size turntable and classic vinyl by Elvis, The Beatles, Johnny Cash and Bing Crosby. There was a Harley-Davidson tree that made me think of my motorcycling sister, a Hot Dog on a Stick tree decorated to look like those ridiculous uniforms the kids at the mall have to wear while they make lemonade, a '70s-themed tree that came with lava lamps, old issues of Rolling Stone and a Grateful Dead blacklight poster, and a set of four trees bent into a "wave," complete with a surfing Santa.
There were trees made of recycled bicycle parts, old car tires, wood, metal, candy, you name it. Quite the production for sure. If you find yourself near the South Towne Expo Center the next few days, I can genuinely recommend a drop-in. The Festival of Trees runs through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. Visit the Festival of Trees Web site for more info.
Elsewhere today, the City Weekly street team with be at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Trunk Sale from 4 to 8 p.m., where you're sure to find some unique gifts if you're in shopping mode. Salt Lake Acting Company's children's play, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, continues its run, and there's a Wasatch Hollow Social at The King's English, where you can meet neighbors and hear a little history of the 15th and 15th neighborhood.