A useful reconnaissance.

Certainly there aren’t the Advent and Christmas markets in palaces and castles and even a gorge we came to know and love around Central Europe, so whenever I take notice of a holiday “festival” or “fair” in the area we make it a priority to attend. I’ve dropped into a couple of Christmas Craft Fairs in some of the larger churches in my neighborhood; REI, an outdoor adventure store, hosted a small but upper scale artisanal market in a section of their parking lot; and this past weekend the IJAMS Nature Center opened its space to local artisans. All had items I purchased, but of course none had the ambiance that European markets have perfected.

When I read that a “Festival of Trees” was scheduled for the Knoxville Convention Center I investigated, and was especially intrigued that all of the decorated trees on display, along with much of the decor, would be for sale. Ours is a large home, as I think I have written on more than one occasion, and decorating for Christmas has been quite the ordeal for me. Plus, the event is an annual fundraiser for the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, so anything I purchased would be a win all around.

On the final day of the four-day festival we dropped in. This is a random snap of the Knoxville YMCA; we were walking from the parking garage to the event and I just liked the architecture.

Inside the convention center the mood was very festive. Hundreds of decorated trees…nearly all of which had already been sold.

Outstanding creations in the Gingerbread Village, many of which were sold, as well.


Winter scenes and a couple of shopping ops filled the remaining space.

A wonderful festival for a great cause, but I left empty-handed. Next year.