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September 9, 2020
Bloomsburg PA — Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble has announced that its annual TreeFest event will be held at the Caldwell Consistory in Bloomsburg, November 30 through December 6.
“2020 has been such a heavy year. So many people have had their lives disrupted in so many ways,” said Cindy Schultz, one of BTE’s lead organizers for the event, “that BTE really wanted to find a way to continue the TreeFest tradition.”
“It’s BTE’s sincere hope that TreeFest will bring some small respite from what we’ve all been living through at a time of year when many faiths focus on shining a light against the darkness and trials of winter and on the promise of new life. This year, BTE is offering TreeFest as a gift to the community,” Schultz explained, “unlike prior years there will be no charge for admission.”
The TreeFest event showcases Christmas trees beautifully and creatively decorated by local businesses and organizations that are later donated to needy families. In the past, TreeFest has featured fine food, a special high tea event, and live entertainment.
“This year,” said Jon White-Spunner, BTE Managing Director, “many aspects of the festival will be altered in the interest of public health and safety, but in ways that we hope preserve the spirit of TreeFest.” Many things about TreeFest will NOT change – the trees will still be donated by local tree growers, sponsored by area businesses and individuals, decorated by community friends and be given to local families referred to us by Columbia County Child Development Center. According to White-Spunner
• New weekday open hours will be added to the normal schedule to afford visitors a wider choice of when to attend with the goal of reducing the number of persons in the Consistory at any one time
• The total number of trees on display will be reduced to allow for social distancing as the public moves through the Consistory
• Masks will be required for entry and hand sanitizer will be made available for all guests
• The flow of guests into and out of the event will be monitored and entry paused before the total number of persons into the Consistory reaches state-mandated limits
• For visitors who don’t wish to enter the Consistory, BTE plans to display a number of trees outdoors under an open-sided tent.
• The possibility of providing a virtual tour of trees via the TreeFest website is being explored for those who cannot leave their homes. Virtual versions of traditional TreeFest entertainment offerings are also being considered.
• There will be no on-site consumption of food allowed
• The traditional TeaFest will be available through boxed “High Tea kits” with all the delicious treats and tea. The accompanying traditional High Tea entertainment may be made available virtually.
• The schedule for the decoration of trees will be staggered so that community decorators can be appropriately socially distanced as they work. Alternatively, TreeFest personnel will be available to decorate trees with materials provided by decorators and in accordance with their design ideas.
“While we are making every effort to redesign the event in a way that will make it safe for those who wish to participate this year,” said Bonnie Crawford, TreeFest Chair, “we know that we cannot anticipate every scenario. We will adapt to circumstances and we’ll keep the community informed as we do.”
Crawford said that the latest information about TreeFest will be available from the TreeFest website www.treefest.org or by calling BTE at 570-784-5530.
BTE Communications Director
570-748-5530 ex. 103