This kick-off event for the holiday season sparkles.

Written by Lea Lumba

christmastreeThe holiday season is upon us, and an event you shouldn’t miss is the 28th annual Festival of Trees and Lights benefiting the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada (DSOSN).

The Festival of Trees and Lights is a two-day event and the largest fundraiser of the year for this local nonprofit. Participating donors and designers volunteer to “decorate” Christmas trees, wreaths, baskets and menorahs that the organization will auction off. Decorations and gifts include items such as show tickets, barbeque grills, restaurant gift certificates, spa days, hotel stays, concert tickets, and even travel.

On November 17, from 1-8pm, everyone can get into the holiday spirit by viewing the trees that will be auctioned off the following evening at the gala. The days activities include visits with Santa Claus, various children’s activities, sweet treats, ongoing entertainment, an elf store where the kiddos can purchase holiday gifts, crafts, a raffle, and more.

The following evening, Friday, November 18, is the black-tie optional gala. This year the gala will honor the Children’s Heart Center. The festivities begin with a silent auction for all the trees, wreaths, baskets, and menorahs, dinner with live entertainment follows. A live auction of the highest-value trees will bring the evening to an exciting close.

The DSOSN provides support for area individuals of all ages afflicted with Down Syndrome. Incorporated in 1987, the organization started off as a group of families who bonded because they all had children with Down Syndrome and wanted to create a platform for awareness. The organization has gone on to help more than 500 families.

Programs offered include music therapy, speech therapy, and a learning program geared toward grade school-age children as a way to help reinforce what they are learning in school.
To purchase tickets to the Festival of Trees and Lights community event or gala, visit