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AIBU?

AIBU - can I organise our town's first christmas tree festival!?

26 replies

Willdoublecheck · 31/07/2017 18:07

What would be the best idea for collecting the actual money for charity, do you think?

....So local community groups and charities will each decorate one tree and they will all be displayed in a church or hall. The general public will come for a nosy over a two or three days, and listen to local choir/music groups, scoff mince pies etc

I could maybe charge people on the door, then ask them to vote (via those supermarket plastic coins?) for their favourite tree. The winner of the best tree gets all the dosh collected to go towards their charity/community group.

Or would it be best to just selec one charity at the start of the event who would get all the proceeds? Or a mixture of these two ideas?!

OP posts:
Nanny0gg · 31/07/2017 18:12

I'd pick a charity first.

But you might want to split it with the church if that's where you hold it.

Entries pay when you receive their form, viewers pay at the door.

Shoxfordian · 31/07/2017 18:13

It's July

Yabu

shakemysilliesout · 31/07/2017 18:23

I once went to a 50 Xmas trees in a church event.

Try and sell food and drink.

Get all groups on board, brownies, rainbows etc.

Sell a quiz or treasure hunt based on the trees. Ie which tree has a rainbow decoration on it.

I would choose one charity as the overall beneficiary and choose a new one each year. Then do a prize for the best tree separate to the charity aspect. Participating groups should pay to enter a tree.

Incorporate a Santa's letter box or even a grotto.

The event I went to was really nice and some trees were very creative.

shakemysilliesout · 31/07/2017 18:24

I would charge £1 entry on the door and like £10 to enter a tree. £1 to do quiz

mokaerisifhija · 31/07/2017 18:30

I've been involved in a festival like this.

Local businesses will also put in entries hopefully, and the stylishness of a charity's Christmas tree won't be proportional to how worthwhile the charity is, so it's better to have one or more charities picked out in advance to receive the money raised, separately from a prize for the best tree.

What with donations on the door, money made from selling refreshments and also having dome Christmas tree themed kids craft activities at £1 a go, you can raise quite a lot with events like this.

imsorryiasked · 31/07/2017 18:43

This might give you some pointers.
You'll probably need to set up a back account to keep the funds dace unless the church can do this for you.
Also be mindful of health and safety / insurance.
You'll need to source the trees.
And specify led lights so that a blown bulb or two doesn't spoil the effects.
Be aware that there are some real scumbags out there who think nothing of stealing decorations from Christmas trees in a church Hmm

Willdoublecheck · 31/07/2017 19:31

Ok thanks. Yep, I can see now that it would be better to choose the charity in advance.

Erk - no idea about how to get safety insurance or whether I need it, but hopefully the hosen venue could point me in the right direction for that.

Was thinking of asking the local garden centre to lend me the trees in exchange for promotion in the hand outs. If we did it early in december they could have them back and sell at a discount maybe?

OP posts:
Willdoublecheck · 31/07/2017 19:34

Initial thoughts were just doing about 15 or so trees for this first event, then to build up to bigger numbers for later years. Dont want it to look too small and miserley (sp?) though.

I think a lot will depend on the venue and what they can accommodate.

Thanks for those tips though, good people. I feel as though I need all the help I can get! That festival on the link looks incredible!

OP posts:
Leeds2 · 31/07/2017 19:44

Not sure if this is relevant, but at my mum's church they had a competition where you paid (£2?) to enter your mini tree, decorated at home, which also had to have a relevant name! Think the winner got a box of chocs, and the rest of the money went to a designated charity. Might be easier if you can get enough entrants.

Nanny0gg · 31/07/2017 19:52

Those entering supply their own tree, Some can be very very creative (our local joiners 'tree' was brilliant)

Have different categories - children, business, local group etc. and vote for a winner from each.

Give them a deadline to take them down after the voting!

cate16 · 31/07/2017 19:52

We pay £15 to enter ours, and we get to keep the tree afterwards.
Winner gets a certificate.

Brittbugs80 · 31/07/2017 19:55

I did something similar last year. As a business we had to pay £30 for a tree to decorate how we wanted and it was displayed in the church hall. We had to specify if we wanted power or not.

Lots of local businesses took part then on the day of the Christmas tree festival, you paid £3 entry, had a look round and the general public voted for the best tree. Best tree went on display in Church foyer and people could buy a raffle ticket (£1 a strip) to win one of the remaining trees.

weeblueberry · 31/07/2017 19:59

No advice but love this idea.

Sounds like the perfect setting for a romance novel. Grin

RainyDayBear · 31/07/2017 20:02

We have one locally held in a church. Different groups decorate small trees which line the aisles and each has a collection bucket. There is also a donation pot for money to be split equally between them all. Various choirs and school groups sing at certain times over the three days, and there are some ladies who sell tea and cakes. It's lovely! The first couple of years were quiet but word is getting around and it's really busy now!

My mum and I take it very seriously when deciding which trees get a donation, we actually do a preliminary loop of the church first before getting out our bags of change! Really sad ones (like the charity that supports the bereaved) and ones with properly handcrafted decorations usually get our money. The local beer club, that decorates their tree with beer mats every year, does not!

RainyDayBear · 31/07/2017 20:07

Just looked at our local ones website (I'm going to PM you the link in case it's of any use, I don't want to out myself), they don't charge groups to enter trees but get sponsorship for local businesses. Admission is free.

Willdoublecheck · 31/07/2017 20:08

Oh man, so many ideas! I love this! Have sent emails to a few other Christmas tree festivals I found on the net as I think it would be so useful speaking to someone directly who has had experience of organising them.

Just waiting to hear back from them.

Am hoping it will look very romantic and twinkly. Off to email Betty's - our local posh cream tea shop to see if they can supply the mulled wine. Probably they won't, but I can dream big.

OP posts:
Willdoublecheck · 31/07/2017 20:12

I could really do with hearing the 'donts', i.e. what not to do.. stuff that has gone wrong in previous similar events so I can be as prepared as I can be.

I thought about he buckets under tree donation thing but I'd be too worried about security. Am thinking, like some have said, get decorators to pay a small donation then charge on the door.

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elQuintoConyo · 31/07/2017 20:17

What a fabulous idea! I'm abroad and trees don't hold half the importance they do in the UK Sad

Peachypeaches · 31/07/2017 20:18

One of the things I love at our Christmas tree festival is the inspirational message competition. You pay 50p to enter and are given a gift tag to write your message on and hang it on the message tree. It is lovely to read them all, and I won a prize for mine one year (nothing fancy just a nice box of chocs).

Willdoublecheck · 31/07/2017 20:34

Ooh Peachy, what kind of messages do people write? Do you put your email or phone number on the back or something?

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Gazelda · 31/07/2017 20:36

You'll need a license if you sell mulled wine. Ask for a donation (suggest £2) to get round this. Or ikea do a lovely non-alcoholic mulled wine. Don't forget a corkscrew if it's not screw top.
Ask supermarkets to donate mince pies. Get local Age UK to 'taste test' and ask the local rag to cover this as a story. That way you'll engage with a charity, get supermarket support, get publicity.
You'll need to ensure no cash is left unattended overnight. Else you'll not be compliant with insurance.
Get a few choirs to put on a concert. 3 choirs performing for 20-30 mins each, they bring a ready made audience to attend the festival and buy your mince pies.

alibongo5 · 31/07/2017 21:19

A village local to me hold one every year. The groups supply their own trees - some are very original, like other posters have said they are often appropriate to the group - one made out of wood from the woodturning society, the WI had one made out of rubber gloves and another year one made out of plastic cups. So you don't have to supply trees - let them use their imagination. The local fish and chip shop hangs plastic ......fish and chips! It's really nice and I think usually has a theme - last year was the three kings and everyone interpreted it in different ways - one had Elvis, another had lions, etc etc. Or something like that anyway!

I may have some photos from previous years and I can let you know the name of the village (and maybe the organiser if I have a root around). PM me if you want me to give you any of this.

Willdoublecheck · 03/08/2017 15:26

Ali thank younso much - I will pm you.

Getting closer to booking the venue and sorting the dates. Its currently filling my head in every waking moment!

OP posts:
Awrighttreacle · 04/10/2018 18:00

Guess what Mumsnetters (name changed but it's still me) - it's all happening and it's stressful but exciting and I'm making it happen in our Northern town this Christmas. Thank you to all who posted advice and comments x

Gazelda · 04/10/2018 21:37

Wow, that's great OP! I hoe it's a huge success and you get the recognition you deserve for creating a lovely event for the community to enjoy. 🎄🎄🎄🎄🌲🎄

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