New Orleans Jazz Festival, Durango Independent Film Festival, Community Connections Festival of Trees: Festivals come
in all shapes and sizes and themes. One thing they all have in common is that they are a time of celebration for a
community. A derivative of festival, the word festive refers to being merry or joyous, an appropriate state for a
This years Festival of Trees comes at the end of a year that has left many feeling less than joyous. The countrys
economy has affected the livelihood of many workers and business owners in Southwest Colorado, and the resulting
effects on the state budget has devastated most of our local service and governmental agencies. Yet the point of a
festival is not to dwell on the negative, but to celebrate the communitys successes, even if the only success has been
to survive another year.
So, for the 2009 Festival of Trees, Community Connections, Inc. invites you to come celebrate together in a place of
merriment, joy and magic.
Once again, the train museum at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will be transformed into a winter
wonderland of spectacular trees decorated by local businesses and individuals. Tree sponsors purchase their trees as a
donation to the programs of Community Connections, the sponsors then decorate their tree according to their own
inspiration, and each guest will have a chance to enter a drawing to win one of these fabulous trees. Tickets are $10
for three chances, and the average value of the trees (and presents underneath) is $400. All proceeds from the tree
sponsors and auction go to benefit children and adults with developmental disabilities.
The Festival of Trees will be open from 1-4 p.m. Nov. 27-29 and Dec. 3-5. Entrance to the Festival of Trees is free to
the public during these hours, and events will be happening throughout the festival, including entertainment by local
music and performance groups, a cookie day, and of course, visits from our favorite elf from the North Pole. On Dec. 3,
a special Durango Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours will occur amid the trees with appetizers, drinks and an
auction of decorated wreaths. For an extra dose of holiday spirit and winter magic, the Festival of Trees will be open
to guests of the Polar Express in the evenings.
If youre looking for a fun, affordable way for the entire family to get into a festive spirit, come and join the folks
at Community Connections at the fifth annual Festival of Trees at D&SNG Museum. Youll benefit local families,
wander through a winter forest (without needing your long johns and snowshoes) and participate in building your
For the latest details on the Festival of Trees, check the Community Connections Web site at www.cci-colorado.org.There
is still time to become a tree sponsor; call the main office at 385-3445 for a sponsor packet.
Tara Kiene is the director of case management for Community Connections, Inc.