COVID forces Festival of Trees to cancel |

COVID forces Festival of Trees to cancel

At the 2014 Fraser Valley Lions Club's Festival of Trees.
File photo |

The Fraser River Valley Lions Club has canceled the 17th annual Festival of Trees due to the worsening COVID pandemic.

“The Lions Club wants to do what’s best for the health of our citizens and our business community,” said Greg Orzech, club president, in a statement explaining the difficult decision.

“Even with the changes we made to the festival format this year, the festival poses unnecessary risks,” he said.

The Lions Club redid the festival this year by moving it from the Rec Center with hundreds of guests to placing trees in 25 local businesses for nonprofit organizations to decorate and the public to view.

Local businesses stepped up to host trees and 25 nonprofits signed up to decorate them. That’s why Jan Boynton, co-chair of the festival, is so disappointed that there will be no festival this year. Still, Boynton believes the decision was the right one.

“This isn’t the time to ask nonprofit volunteers to gather together indoors to decorate trees or to encourage our neighbors and friends to visit stores just to look at trees,” Boynton said. “But we’re optimistic that the Lions Club will be back next year to put on a traditional festival.”

The Lions Club also wants to thank the businesses that volunteered as tree hosts and the nonprofits, and the club is making a $100 donation to each nonprofit organization that signed up to participate and offering a gift certificate for a free Christmas tree from the Lions tree lot at Murdoch’s to each business host.

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