The 35th Annual Festival of Trees main event won’t be happening this year because of the pandemic, but organizers don’t want to miss the tradition entirely.
They normally hold a Silver Bell Social. It’s a private event for the senior community. Organizers came up with a Cookie Caravan instead.
Jessi Stoffers is the activity director at Jersey Ridge Place Retirement Community in Davenport and said their residents always look forward to the Festival of Trees event, but they understand that this year, things are different.
“We are so grateful. This was our number one outing. We have 38 residents here, and we would get sometimes 25 to go to the Festival of Trees, so we were pretty devastated when it got canceled, but we saw it coming,” said Stoffers.
Anne Colville is a volunteer and said the organizers of the Festival of Trees still wanted to bring the holiday cheer to seniors, so they decided to host a Cookie Caravan.
“We are bringing safely at curbside a delivery of some cookies and some goodies courtesy of Eye Surgeons Associates, our sponsor,” said Colville. “We decided to bring cookies to them and also get some song involved with our carolers.”
The Chordbusters also showed up and sang some holiday classic songs.
“Our group loves to sing, so being able to do that, especially for the seniors, is a great feeling for us, and we’re very blessed that we got the weather we got today,” said Gary Schocker, manager of the group.
Some seniors decided to have their own Festival of Trees at their retirement home.
“We decided that we would have our own little miniature Festival of Trees, so we had a group of residents that decorated their own little miniature trees, and then we have them on display,” said Stoffers.
The Cookie Caravan will stop by 13 senior living communities in the Quad Cities.