Setup has begun in the Davenport RiverCenter for the 34th annual Festival of Trees, an 11-day fundraiser for Quad City Arts. This year's theme is "Christmas Around the World."
In its third year of sponsorship by Kwik Star, the festival will kick off with a Premiere Party on Friday, Nov. 22, followed by the Holiday Parade beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, in downtown Davenport, featuring its signature helium balloons.
By the time the doors of the RiverCenter open, it will be filled with holiday trees, decorated rooms, ornaments, decorated doors, stockings, hearth and home displays, and other attractions. Flags from various countries and life-size cutouts of children from around the world will give the festival a multicultural flair.
Children will be encouraged to pick up a passport at the gate to help them find each figure and learn about each country’s holiday traditions.
In addition to displays, attractions will include children's activities; Santa and a large model train; a treat shop; a gingerbread village; a high school art exhibit; a gift shop; and a stage with dancers, singers, bands and choirs.
General admission is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors 60 and older, $3 for children ages 2-10, and free for those younger than 2.
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Special ticketed events will include Silent Disco Sneak Peak, Premiere Party, Teddy Bear Tea, Sugar Plum Ball, and Celebrity Lunch.
All designer displays will be available for purchase via silent auction, raffle or a "buy it now" price. Money raised will benefit Quad City Arts, a nonprofit arts organization based in Rock Island that is dedicated to enriching the Quad-Cities' quality of life through the arts.
The festival always needs volunteers to help. If you're interested, go to qcfestivaloftrees.com or call 309-793-1213.
About 30,000 people attend the festival annually and about 45,000 watch the parade, making the event one of the largest attractions in the Quad-Cities.
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A young spectator gets a close look at the Kermit the Frog balloon sponsored by NECA / IBEW, Saturday, November 17, 2018, during the 33rd Annual Kwik Star Festival of Trees Parade in downtown Davenport.
The Shrek balloon sponsored by the city of Bettendorf took over the intersection of 3rd and Brady Streets in Davenport during the 2018 Holiday Parade.
A door wreath made of blue and yellow shapes of blown glass won best of show in the non-tree category during the 2018 Kwik Star Festival of Trees. It was made by the design team of Joel Ryser, Adrian English and Logan Ryser from Hot Glass, Davenport.
Serena Miller and her son, Logan, 8, of Orion, Ill., looks at all the neat stuff at the train layout on Saturday inside the RiverCenter during the annual Festival of Trees.
Parade spectators move inside the RiverCenter to view all the Christmas items during the annual Festival of Trees Grand Premiere Party held at the RiverCenter in Davenport.
A line formed at the Treat Shoppe during last year's Festival of Trees at the RiverCenter in Davenport.
An overall of the main hall inside the RiverCenter during the annual Festival of Trees in Davenport.
Josie Franklin, 7, and her brother, Michael, 11, write letters to Santa on Saturday.
Thomas Dasforges, 6, of East Amana, got a gingerbread man painted on his face by Lizzie McVey, 14, of Davenport, during the 2018 Festival of Trees.
Clayton Campbell of Jenkins Tree Service designed this Papa Top Christmas tree for the 2018 Festival of Trees.
Kelly Hamerlinck of Milan looks at the Driftwood Christmas tree designed by Brain Deines and family during the annual Festival of Trees inside the RiverCenter in Davenport.
Jeannie Peterson of Blue Grass looks over the Robots, Robots, Robots Christmas tree designed by QC Elite Robotics First FRC Team.
The Junior Miss royalty of Rheigh Reitnger, Junior Miss Eastern Iowa, Junior Miss River City, Ayla McGlaughlin and Junior Miss Cedar County, Kelsey Schott, all wave to the spectators, Saturday, November 17, 2018, during the 27th Annual Kwik Star Festival of Trees Parade in downtown Davenport.
The Santa balloon sponsored by Medicom was followed closely by the Rudolph balloon sponsored by Deere & Co. as they made their way down 3rd Street during the 2018 Holiday Parade.
The grand old elf himself, Santa, Mike Peppers, waves to spectators from his convertible or sleigh as he goes by the Adler Theatre, Saturday, November 17, 2018, during the 27th Annual Kwik Star Festival of Trees Parade in downtown Davenport.
Kyle the Car sponsored by RIA Credit Union has all green lights as it moves down 2nd Street, Saturday, November 17, 2018, during the 27th Annual Kwik Star Festival of Trees Parade in downtown Davenport.