Rockin’ around the Christmas trees

Participants spend the finals hours Thursday putting the final touches on their creations to be featured in the 30th annual Gillette Festival of Trees this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Gillette Festival of Trees)

It’s a milestone year for one of the biggest and brightest fundraisers in Campbell County as the final touches are underway at the 30th annual Gillette Festival of Trees. The event, scheduled Friday, November 19 through Sunday, November 21, will be in the Wyoming Center at Cam-Plex where more than 5,000 visitors are anticipated to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas while supporting an important cause.

Just like the 29 previous years, all proceeds will go to healthcare in Campbell County. The event has become the official start to the holiday season in Gillette for decades and has provided nearly $3 million in assistance.

Sydney Wilson, this year’s executive chairperson of the festival’s committee as well as the kickoff event planning, is preparing for her seventh Festival of Trees. Her excitement to showcase this year’s creations is obvious as she plans to be in attendance from start to finish on opening day.

“Everyone is so creative when it comes to decorating trees and every year seems to be better than the last year. I’m starring at the trees as we speak, and I know this year will be even better than the last,” said Wilson. “We are all looking forward to everyone coming out. It’s exciting to get this started and watch everything go in motion.”

The highly-anticipated holiday showcase of 61 stunning and decorated Christmas trees and wreaths this year will open its doors from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday. A senior viewing and luncheon ticketed event will be held in the afternoon before the big official start for the public begins at 5:30 p.m.

There will be free milk and cookies during the evening session. The highlight of the night will be the entertainment at 6:30 p.m. with a special Christmas performance by the Dance Arts Youth Company of Gillette.

The viewing of trees and wreaths will continue Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The peak of the Gillette Festival of Lights will follow starting at 5 p.m. with a live auction and raffle ticketed event which is complete with cocktails and dinner. The evening festivities has a limit of 500 guests and just a few tickets remain online at (click here).

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We hope to have a good year and a great turn out. After all the craziness of the last year, this is a great opportunity for families to enjoy the first holiday event of the year while supporting healthcare here in Gillette all while looking at some of the most beautiful trees you will ever see.”

The festive weekend concludes with Family Day on Sunday from 12-4 p.m. Families are asked to bring a canned food item for admission which will be donated to the Council of Community Services.

A gift shop will be available all weekend and a portion of all sales will also be donated to the cause.

Gillette Festival of Trees schedule

Friday, November 19

9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. * Open to the public

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11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  * Senior view and lunch invite-only event

5:30-8:30 p.m. * Festival kickoff open to the public

Saturday, November 20

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. * Open to the public

5-10 p.m. * Live auction event (limited number of tickets remain)

Sunday, November 21

Noon – 4 p.m. * Family Day is open to the public with a cover charge of one canned food item to be donated to the Council of Community Services.