FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — FHN’s 2019 Festival of Trees kicks off Nov. 22 with a Gala for grown-ups and lasts through the end of the year, with fun activities for the whole family. All Festival of Trees activities are free of charge unless noted.
The theme of this year’s Festival of Trees is a quote from spiritual author Michael Holbrook: If You Can’t Find the Spirit of the Holidays in Your Heart, You’ll Never Find it Under a Tree.
The overall theme served as inspiration for this year’s spy-themed Casino Royale Gala, planned for 7 – 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 at Grand River Hall, 101 S. Liberty Avenue in Freeport.
The Gala promises an extravagant evening of delicious food, music, dancing, a silent auction and James Bond-quality casino games played for chances at prizes. The event will help to fund the Crisis Stabilization Center at the FHN Family Counseling Center, which will serve people facing a substance abuse or behavioral health crisis. Tickets are $75 for one or $130 for two, available online at www.fhn.org/gala or at the door.
The FHN Holiday Movie Series debuts bright and early the next morning at the Classic Cinemas Lindo Theatre, 115 S. Chicago Avenue in Freeport. Each Saturday morning through Christmas, families are invited to enjoy a fun movie at the special price of $4 compliments of FHN. All children attending will receive a holiday gift.
Showtime each Saturday is 10 a.m., and doors open at 9:30. Seating is limited and there are no advance ticket sales. This year’s movies are:
Nov. 23 – Frozen 2 (PG)
Nov. 30 – Polar Express (G) – special FREE movie
Dec. 7 – Playmobil: The Movie (PG)
Dec. 14 – Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13)
Dec. 21 – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PG-13)
This year’s Classic Movie Series bonus movie is the holiday classic White Christmas (G) at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11. Admission is a free-will offering and/or a food drive donation.
Designed to offer movie-goers the experience of viewing time-honored American film classics on the big screen, the Classic Movie Series is hosted every spring and fall by the Lindo Theatre in Freeport in partnership with the Stephenson County Historical Museum and Highland Community College.
On Sunday, Nov. 24 after the Downtown Freeport Mistletoe Walk (about 5 p.m.), join us around the tree in front of FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport to light the Community Holiday Tree! We’ll have cookies, cocoa and some special visitors – including Santa – to “flip the switch” and officially start the season.
The Community Festival of Trees at the Freeport Public Library, 100 W. Douglas Street in Freeport, kicks off with our Frosty Family Fun Night at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. Sing holiday songs with Sean Huguenin, play holiday bingo, and make some holiday slime and a healthy holiday treat. Grownups who attend with their children can sign up to win a $100 gift card for some extra holiday shopping money!
While you’re there, make sure to tour the library and see all the Community Festival of Trees entrants! This popular free event brings non-profit organizations together to decorate trees and compete for cash prizes. A panel of judges will award prizes in a number of categories, and you can vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice competition through Saturday, Dec. 14. The trees will be on display through Saturday, Dec. 28.
Enjoy music from area school and group choirs at Singin’ at the King, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 at the King Community Campus, 511 S. Liberty Avenue in Freeport. The suggested admission price is one canned good or other food item per person for local food pantries. Santa will be there, too!
FHN is proud to be a part of this year’s Festival of Giving, occurring from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 at the Highland Community College Student Conference Center. This day-long drive hosted by Big Radio, FHN, HCC, and the Salvation Army will be taking donations of toys and money to benefit underprivileged children in our area. Big Radio will do live broadcasts from the event – make sure to listen for some healthy holiday tips from FHN!
And finally, FHN and the Freeport Public Library have asked Santa to set aside some time to visit with kids in our community. You can find a schedule of his visits to the Freeport Public Library (and details on all of our Festival of Trees events) online at www.fhn.org/festivaloftrees. Every child who visits with Santa as part of a Festival of Trees event will receive a small holiday gift from FHN.
FHN, a not-for-profit organization with nearly 1,400 employees, is an award-winning regional healthcare system committed to the health and well-being of the people of northwest Illinois and southern Wisconsin. FHN Memorial Hospital has been recognized as one of the state’s top hospitals for safety by the Leapfrog group and Healthgrades as well as by the world’s largest, completely independent, non-profit product- and service-testing organization. FHN caregivers serve an average of 1,500 people each day across FHN’s 19 locations in 5 counties spanning northwest Illinois. Organized in 1995 as an integrated healthcare delivery system, FHN is comprised of FHN Memorial Hospital, the Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital, 13 family healthcare centers offering primary and specialty medical care, hospice, and outpatient mental health services. For more information about FHN, please visit www.fhn.org.