“Festival of Trees” adjustments made in response to COVID-19 orders

(Photo Supplied)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Fort Wayne’s Embassy Theatre is making some changes to this year’s Festival of Trees event due to new local COVID-19 restrictions.

Due to the Allen County Board of Health’s reduction in total gathering capacity to 100 people or less, the Theatre says this year’s Festival of Trees will no longer feature stage performances, nor will it feature the screening of “White Christmas” on Thanksgiving Day.

Tickets will be available for 90-minute and 60-minute timed-entry increments, and the festival will run from November 25th through December 6th. Masks or face shields will also be required, no exceptions.

The Theatre’s full guidelines and changes are detailed below:

* The Embassy made the hard decision to cancel all stage performances so that it can adhere to the lower capacity number for the health and wellbeing of the community.

* We will not be screening Irving Berlin’s classic White Christmas on Thanksgiving Day.

* The Embassy is extending some hours and adding additional days (see full schedule outlined at the end of the release).

* The festival opening day on Nov. 25 now starts at 4 p.m.

* Days are being added to accommodate additional patrons: Thursday, Dec. 3 through
Sunday, Dec. 6.

* Tickets are purchased for timed entry in 90-minute increments for all days from Nov. 25 – Dec. 2. Tickets are purchased for timed entry in 60-minute increments for all days from Dec. 3 – 6. This allows the Embassy to thoroughly clean and sanitize between each time period.

COVID-19 Considerations for the Festival of Trees

The Embassy is following board of health guidelines for patrons, staff and volunteers.
Facial Coverings: Masks or face shields are required. No exceptions. Any patron unwilling to wear a mask is encouraged to purchase a virtual ticket.

Ticketing: There are a limited number of tickets for each 60- or 90-minute time block. The organization encourages patrons to purchase in advance. If a time block is filled when a patron arrives, entry may be available in another timed entry block.

Cleaning the Building: Between each 60- or 90-minute time block there will be rigorous cleaning of frequently touched surfaces along the traffic path as well as in restrooms.

Virtual Santa: Santa Claus is still joining the festival virtually, and families will be able to see and talk to him and take a picture with Santa in Santa Land.

One-way Traffic: All walking traffic patterns will be one way. The trees will be positioned to facilitate this pattern. Signage will be clear and staff will be available to clarify the walking path.

Food: No food or beverages will be sold or allowed in the festival so that patrons can remain masked.

Online Program: The Festival of Trees program booklet will be available online this year to create a touchless experience by scanning a QR code or accessing it on the Embassy web page. The Embassy encourages patrons to access this guide through their phone or device. Voting for favorite trees and entries for raffles will also be online.

Virtual Festival of Trees: For those unable to attend the Festival of Trees, a video tour will be available as a ticketing option. The virtual ticket will be for sale on Nov. 25 and the online tour will be available for viewing from Dec. 3, 2020, through Jan. 1, 2021. (A link will be emailed to virtual ticket buyers to share the video tour of the trees.)

Individuals 65 years of age and older or those in high-risk categories are encouraged to not attend the event. Patrons are asked to assess their health before arriving and stay home if ill or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Any patrons who arrive at the Embassy ill or displaying symptoms of COVID- 19 will be sent home. While the Embassy works hard to reduce exposure to COVID-19, the public is assuming the inherent risk of possible exposure. The Embassy encourages patrons to visit http://fwembassytheatre.org/2020-festival-of-trees/ for the most up-to-date source of information.

 $10/adult (13+ years)
 $5/youth ages 1-12
 Children under 1-year-old are free (ticket required)
 $25 Virtual Tour (video available Dec. 3)

Tickets are available NOW for purchase at the STAR Bank box office at the Embassy Theatre at 125 W. Jefferson Blvd. in downtown Fort Wayne (260.424.5665), fwembassytheatre.org as well as ticketmaster.com.


  1. The cost of this virtual ticket is outrageous given the fact that more people should be encouraged to choose this option. Watching on a screen at home should not cost more than attending the event in person, especially for our older adults who should not attend in person at all.


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