Hey! Rochester! Good to see you! I hope your Thanksgivings were enjoyable and that you’ve come out of your food comas as better people than you went into them.
Your fearless blogger had a stupendous T-day. Now, I’ll admit, I got roughed up early by a stuffing/mashed potato/squash trifecta (though, Ndamukong Suh said they were just trying to keep themselves balanced <drum fill>), but like all true champions, I was able to persevere and battle through it… and into some pie.
What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that blogging after eating is much like swimming after eating; you need to wait at least 30 minutes or you could be in serious trouble. So, not wanting to endanger myself, I played it safe and waited about 72 hours before heading out on my latest adventure.
After the blogging moratorium had been lifted, the unpaid intern (read: wife) and I headed down to the Mayo Civic Center to take in the Hiawatha Homes Foundation’s Festival of Trees.
This five day fundraising event features nearly 100 trees that have been decorated with designs submitted by local businesses and organizations. In addition to the decorated trees, it’s also jam packed with entertainers, a live auction (part of the Opening Night Gala), a silent auction, a silent mini-tree auction, and a raffle.
Surprisingly, even though I’ve spent many-a-holiday-season in this fair city, I had never actually attended this event before. Needless to say, I welcomed the opportunity to right this egregious wrong.
Things definitely got off on the right foot when the nice people staffing the ticket booth complimented the unpaid intern on her choice of attire for the day (I couldn’t have agreed more). Plus, it also validated the time she spent tight-rolling her acid washed jeans and breathing on her hyper-color t-shirt.
As you walked into the auditorium, you could immediately feel the holiday cheer washing over you. There may not be snow on the ground outside (yet), but walking through all the decorated trees fools your internal clock into believing it’s December 24th. Plus, the sheer amount, and the wide variety, of decorated trees in the auditorium also make quite an impression on you.
I’m always amazed by people’s artistic creativity, and one of the things I noticed right away on the trees was the variety of items people used for their tree toppers. The traditional stars and angels were shelved in favor of things like streamers, flags, viking horns (Skol!), bubbles, huge bows, and Barbie dolls, which all looked amazing. We moved from tree to tree examining their decorative make-up, and I think we may even integrate a few things that we saw into our tree this year (though, typically we don’t pick one up until the late teens of December).
The unpaid intern and I continued milling about for a while, making a few passes around the room to make sure we hadn’t missed anything. Then, after she finished ogling the Angry Birds mini-tree (her addiction to Angry Birds may even surpass the Snood addiction she had in college), it was time to call it a day. I’m glad to have finally made it to the Festival of Trees and I look forward to adding it to the Thanksgiving weekend to-do list for next year. And again, congratulations to the Hiawatha Homes Foundation and all the staff/volunteers that help make this event such a success each year.
P.S. - Since this is my first post since Halloween, I’m sure a lot of you (read: one or two, if any) are interested to see how my Goldy Gopher pumpkin turned out. Well, I’m happy to say it was a success! The trick-or-treaters really liked it and it didn’t get smashed, so it was a win-win.
Coming Up in My Next Post:
It’s time to head down to Market Strasse, which is downtown Rochester’s European Winter Market. It promises an authentic, rustic, cozy European market that will feature unique gifts, tasty treats, hearty food and drink, children’s activities, and horse drawn carriage rides. I’m looking forward to it, but will probably have to go incognito, as I’m huge in Europe and don’t want all the attention from fans interfering with my blogger duties.