It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and, with that, comes the annual Festival of Trees, benefitting Special Olympics Wyoming.

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This year is the the 34th Annual Festival of Trees, and it's taking place on Saturday, December 3, 2022 alongside the Teddy Bear Tea event.

The Festival of Trees is an auction-style event, in which guests can purchase fully decorated Christmas trees and holiday wreaths. All auction items are donated by individuals and local businesses, and all of the proceeds benefit Special Olympics Wyoming athletes.

The goal of the event, per a press release from Special Olympics Wyoming, is "to help Special Olympics Wyoming celebrate their 50th anniversary. Special Olympics Wyoming athletes will share their stories of strength and courage throughout the evening, raise much-needed funds and awareness for Special Olympics Wyoming's statewide programs, while educating an audience of more than 300 guests about the inclusion, revolution, and the missions of the organization."

That mission is to provide year-round sports training to children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics Wyoming exists  for athletes "to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community."

The Festival of Trees event is the perfect opportunity for community members to see exactly what the organization provides.

On the evening of the event, guests will be greeted by Special Olympics Wyoming athletes, before being able to walk around a beautifully decorated ballroom, while taking in the scene of multiple Christmas trees, decorated from top to bottom. Guests will be able to bid on these trees, as well as holiday wreaths, and other gift packages.

Kurt Downing Sr. will serve as the event's Master of Ceremonies, and Heidi Foy will be the event's Auctioneer.

Before the event, community members with children can get a "sneak peek" during Teddy Bear Tea! This pre-event event offers a chance for kiddos to get a look at the trees before the Festival. Additionally, performers with Dream Upon a Princess will be on-hand, as will the man himself, Jolly Old St. Nick - Santa Clause. Kiddos can get pictures taken with the big guy and the princes, princesses, and superheroes of Dream Upon a Princess.

Teddy Bear Tea "gives families an opportunity to enjoy the magic of the holiday, promote the Festival of Trees, and allows for children to vote for the People's Choice tree," the release stated.

Teddy Bear Tea is happening from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is free to get in, with the donation of a new teddy bear (hence the name) or new hats and mittens.

Following Teddy Bear Tea, the Cocktails and Hors-d'oeuvres hour will begin at 6:00 p.m., and the live auction will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The event is happening at the Best Western in Downtown Casper, at 123 East E. Street on December 3, 2022. Tickets for the Festival of Trees are $50 per person, or $75 per couple.

Tickets can be purchased online by visiting this link.

In the meantime, photos from last year's event can be seen below:

33rd Annual Festival of Trees

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