The lights will be twinkling

Ann Gill

Little lights will once again twinkle on the holiday trees filling the Diamond Banquet Hall, when the Coal City Promfest Committee opens the doors for the annual festival of trees. Christmas trees, both big and small, are the focus of the festival organized by the Promfest Committee, which also puts together the annual post prom celebration for Coal City High School’s junior and senior students and their guests. Festival of Trees serves as the sole fundraiser to support the post prom celebration, according to Jen Endrst who is leading the committee this year. On average it takes $10,000 to $15,000 to cover the cost of the event held immediately following the school’s spring formal. Local businesses, organizations and individuals were invited to participate in the fundraising event by decorating a tree or sponsoring an item for the festival. In addition to themed holiday trees there will be decorated wreaths, outdoor decor and specialty items including a 2019 Genuine Buddy 50 Scooter that was provided by an anonymous donor. Items are still being accepted and arrangements can be made by contacting Endrst at A few of the trees up for raffle will include a prom tree that includes both tickets to the prom and Promfest, along with certificates to help prepare a student for their night out. There will also be trees centered around the themes of Coaler, Frozen, Toy Story 4, candy, arts and crafts, snowmen, unicorn, farmhouse and teen girl. There will be an animal theme tree that includes free zoo passes, one based on the 25th Anniversary of the popular television sitcom Friends, a coastal/beach tree that comes with a Southwest Airlines gift card and a concert tree featuring tickets to see the country music duo Dan & Shay perform in spring 2020. Among the specialty items coming to the festival is a decorative metal sleigh, wheelbarrow and Stihl hedge trimmer. In all, Endrst said the committee is looking to have 40 items up for raffle. Volunteers are needed in the days leading up to the festival to decorate trees and put the finishing touches on the hall and various displays. Anyone from the community who is willing to assist with these tasks is asked to report to the banquet hall on Tuesday, Dec. 3 between 4 and 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 1 to 9 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. Along with all of the decorative items, the festival will feature a weekend of entertainment from storytellers and dancers, to musicians and visits from Santa and a few of his fellow Christmas characters. Those attending the festival can also enjoy a variety of treats courtesy of Chicago Aerosol. The doors to the festival open Friday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. and continue through Sunday, Dec. 8. Festival times are Friday 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5, 12 for $10 and 25 for $20. Chances for the scooter require a special $20 ticket. The Diamond Banquet Hall is located at 55 S. Daley St., Diamond.