Rotary Club Of Scunthorpe’s Festival Of Christmas Trees Goes Virtual
THE 15th annual Scunthorpe Festival of Christmas Trees, organised by the Rotary Club of Scunthorpe, will still go ahead this year, albeit in a different format due to restrictions created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Businesses and organisations from across North Lincolnshire and beyond are invited to participate in the Festival, which has raised over £60,000 for Lindsey Lodge Hospice since 2005, and been held at the Old Brumby United Church in previous years. Local schools, church groups, charities, and companies have decorated a tree for the public to admire to the accompaniment of festive musical performances. Last year the church was home to over 80 trees.
This year, the Rotary Club will invite entrants to submit their trees virtually in the form of a photograph or video, to be viewed by the public via a purpose built website. The website has been designed and built by Brigg-based creative marketing agency Knapton Wright who will also support the promotion of the event.
Rotarian George Jefferson, who is organising the event with support from other club members, said, “We felt it was more important than ever to go ahead with the Festival this year. Christmas 2020 will be in need of some joy, and Lindsey Lodge Hospice is in desperate need of fundraising support. The usual channels through which it acquires donations have almost been cut off this year. We are determined not to let down the hospice or the town”.
It is hoped that as the Festival moves to an online event, it attracts even more entries and support than usual, as there is no physical limit to the number of decorated and virtual trees that can be displayed. As one of the oldest and largest festivals of its kind in the UK, it’s hoped it will not only feature entries from North Lincolnshire, but from areas where similar festivals have been cancelled both in this country and abroad.
As well as the trees, the website will be home to recordings and live streams of musical performances from local schools and groups that normally perform in the church. In the past, up to 20 musical performances have taken place over the course of the festival. There are plans for a mass performance of the Carol for North Lincolnshire, commissioned in 2017 by the Rotary Club of Scunthorpe and written by Ian MacMillan and Luke Carver-Goss. Musicians will be asked to submit their own performances of the song, and submit them to be edited into one big online performance.
Those visiting the website will be given the opportunity to buy Christmas cards and gifts from the Lindsey Lodge Hospice shop to further support their vital work.
Anne Millett, fundraiser at Lindsey Lodge Hospice said, “2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for the hospice. We rely very heavily on the generous fundraising efforts and donations from local people and organisations, and are delighted that the Scunthorpe Festival of Christmas Trees is still going ahead. The support of the Rotary Club, and that of the festival’s participants and visitors, is more valuable than you could ever imagine”.
For those who can’t resist the smell of a real pine tree, the Festival is also supporting the Pink Pig’s 2020 Christmas Extravaganza at Holme. There will be 20 trees provided by the Pink Pig with stands provided by the Rotary Club that can be decorated by supporting businesses and organisations. These will be displayed in an open sided barn at the farm. Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, ticketed evening events will take place with a chance to view the trees whilst listening to musical performances by local choirs and groups.
This year’s event will run from 5- 13th December. To find out more or pledge your support visit the website where you’ll find details on how and when to submit your tree photograph or video.
Mr Jefferson said, “We hope a virtual festival will challenge supporters to come up with some really unusual and exciting ideas. Several regular entrants have already pledged their support for which we are very grateful. We would hate to lose the camaraderie the event has built up in the community over the last 15 years. We are dedicated to making it a success for everyone involved.”