The 2017 Festival of Trees, which took place Nov. 22-29, attracted 22,000 visitors to downtown Fort Wayne. Lobbies of the Embassy Theatre and Indiana Hotel were transformed into a wonderland of Christmas trees under the theme of “Silver Bells.”The annual fundraiser and community event featured 58 uniquely decorated Christmas trees.
Embassy staff tallied patrons’ votes for favorite trees to determine the following People’s Choice Award winners:
• First Place People’s Choice – Ringing in 90 Years…Emboyd to Embassy, sponsored by the Embassy Board of Directors, decorated by Asher Agency
• Second Place People’s Choice – I’ll Have a Blue Christmas Without You, sponsored by King of Carts, decorated by Cheryl Toscos
• Third Place People’s Choice – Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas, sponsored by PBS39, decorated by Lisa Rysiawa
Festival of Trees raffle winners were:
• Wells Fargo Money tree (cash) – Robin Rose, Fort Wayne
• Jefferson Pointe tree (gift certificates) – Sandy Wilfong, Huntington
• TinCaps baseball tree (season tickets) – Pam Golden, Fort Wayne
• Sleeping Beauty tree (show tickets) – Jody Ross, Fort Wayne
• Broadway tree (show tickets) – Amanda Hartman, Fort Wayne
• Shopkins Live! tree (show tickets) – Melissa LaCross, Fort Wayne
• Peg Perego tree (children’s toys) – Betty Dear, Columbia City
• Komets tree (game tickets) – Ed Schneider, Auburn
• Mad Ants tree (game tickets) – Amanda Fevurly, Kansas City, KS
The 2017 Tree Decorator awards were announced at the Nov. 21 sponsors’ preview night. First place was awarded to “Constructing Christmas,” sponsored by Shambaugh & Son and decorated by Cindy Friend Design Boutique. Second place went to “It’s Christmas Time in the City,” sponsored by an anonymous donor and decorated by Jessica Diane Designs. Third place was won by “Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas,” PBS39, decorated by Lisa Rysiawa. Judges were Sandra Fouty (Ivy Tech Community College Northeast) and Molly McGowan (University of Saint Francis) and John O’Connell (IPFW/College of Visual and Performing Arts).
Founded in 1984, the Festival of Trees supports ongoing operational and restoration efforts for the Embassy Theatre Foundation. The festival is the organization’s largest annual fundraising event.