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St. Alphonsus' 37th Festival Of Trees Goes Virtual This Year

Tess Goodwin/ Boise State Public Radio

For the last 36 years, people have gathered in-person to gaze upon extravagantly decorated conifers at the Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees. But this year, the stroll through rows of trimmed trees will be more of an online scroll from home.

The adorned holiday trees won’t fill the Boise Centre. Instead, they’re in a warehouse out in Meridian, where they’ve been professionally photographed.

“We're just keeping our fingers crossed that the work that people have put into the trees and really pays off with some energetic and generous donations in the online auction,” said Jill Aldape, Vice President of Philanthropy for Saint Alphonsus.

The 43 large trees and 120 small trees and wreaths will be posted and auctioned off online. There will be no fixed prices this year, said Aldape, so people can have fun bidding on the tree of their choice.

Aldape said they’ve received about half of the trees they typically get. But COVID-19 made it harder for schools, businesses, and organizations to get together.

But she’s looking on the bright side.

“If they had a hundred trees to look at, we're a little worried that that might be just overwhelming online,” she said. “So this way, it makes it a little bit easier to navigate in an online environment.”

With no ticket sales this year, revenue will be earned from donations, virtual visits with Santa and the tree auction and will go to the St. Alphonsus COVID-19 Response and Relief Fund. The festival kicks off on November 19 and runs through November 30.

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio