HELENA — The Intermountain Festival of Trees is a staple in the Helena community, and as the holiday season ramps up so does Intermountain as it prepares for its 34th annual showing of the event.
The event is one of Intermountain's most important events for donations as the non-profit typically sees about $500,000 come in, or one-quarter of the funds needed yearly to help provide behavioral and mental health care to children in Montana.
Last year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance was limited and many of the events were moved to a virtual platform. This year the event will be back, albeit with some restrictions in place, as event organizers have a bit more leeway in terms of attendance.
“This year, we'll be able to have greater capacity, not anything excessive. We're limiting access to our events. And be sure if you want to come down, to get your tickets online so that you can guarantee yourself a spot," said Intermountain development director Tyler Zimmer.
"It will really depend event by event. Seated events are going to have lower capacity than events where people are able to move with the flow of traffic," Zimmer continued. "We're taking precautions to ensure that people will be able to be socially distance and we're encouraging masking, but it's currently not required.”
Despite the pandemic, Intermountain Senior Development Office Beth Wheeler told MTN News that Intermountain nearly reached it's donation goal, and this year Intermountain hopes it can surpass it while giving folks a glimpse into this year's chapter of the event's three-decade tenure.
“This year's theme is once upon a storybook Christmas, and we've seen incredible, incredible, you know, stories that we all grew up with being told through the trees," said Zimmer. "It's really been fun. I think this year is gonna be a really fun one for kids because they're going to be able to see so many of their favorite characters from going up.”
The Intermountain Festival of Trees begins on Dec. 1 with 'Tea in the Trees' and will conclude on Dec. 5 with 'Family Days.' For more information, please click here.