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The Embassy to host Festival of Trees despite pandemic

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – Folks concerned about how COVID-19 will affect their holiday plans can check The Festival of Trees of the list.

The Fort Wayne Christmastime tradition will continue for the 36th year from Wednesday, Nov. 25 through Wednesday, Dec. 2, though it will look different than years past.

Officials with the theatre have been working with the Allen County Health Department to devise a plan for the event to go on while following COVID-19 restrictions.

Masks will be required, and you’ll be asked to social distance throughout your time inside.

Patrons will tour the theatre and hotel on the first floor only this year with a designated traffic pattern incorporating social distancing as they view more than 40 decorated trees. Admission includes a virtual visit with Santa and festive entertainment on the stage, including performances featuring the Grande Page Pipe Organ as well as community music and dance groups.

Breakfast with Santa is a popular featured event at the festival. The capacity for this event has been greatly reduced to align with current protocols.

This year’s theme is Comfort and Joy.

The Festival of Trees helps support ongoing operational and restoration efforts for the Embassy. It’s also the Embassy’s largest annual fundraising event.

Organizers hope this event will give folks something to look forward to.

COVID-19 Considerations for the Festival of Trees:

Timed Entry Ticketing for Stage Activities: To ensure the number of patrons at the festival remains within capacities approved by the Allen County Health Department, a limited number of tickets will be sold in 90-minute time blocks.

Cleaning the Building: Between each 90-minute time block there will be rigorous cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, restrooms, theater seats and the stage area.

Virtual Santa: Santa Claus has been snowed in at the North Pole this year! He is still joining the festival virtually, and families will be able to see and talk to him and take a picture with Santa in Santa
Land.

One-way Traffic: All walking traffic patterns will be one way. The trees will be positioned to facilitate
this pattern.

Online Program: The Festival of Trees program booklet will be available online this year to create a touchless experience. The Embassy encourages patrons to access this guide through their phone or device. Voting for favorite trees and entries for raffles will also be online this year.

Virtual Festival of Trees: For those unable to attend the Festival of Trees, a video tour will be available as a ticketing option so that viewers can enjoy the festival from the comfort of their home. The virtual ticket will be for sale on Nov. 25 and the online tour will be available for viewing Dec. 3, 2020
through Jan. 1, 2021.

Ticket Information:

  • $10/adult (13+ years)
  • $4/youth ages 1-12
  • Children under 1 years old are free (ticket required)
  • $25 Virtual Tour (video available Dec. 3)

Tickets will be available for purchase Monday, Nov. 2 at the STAR Bank box office at the Embassy Theatre (260.424.5665), fwembassytheatre.org as well as ticketmaster.com.

Notes on ticketing:

  • Trees Only Ticket: Patron will have access to the trees and virtual Santa Land.
  • Trees and Performance Ticket: Will have assigned seat for performance within the 90-minute time block and have access to the trees and virtual Santa Land.
  • Virtual Tour: A link will be emailed to virtual ticket buyers to share the video tour of the trees. The provided link will be active through Jan. 1 and can be played an unlimited amount of times.

Tickets go on sale next Monday.

Learn more about the event and check out a full schedule here.

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