At Quad City Arts in Rock Island, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as the 35th anniversary of Festival of Trees will look different this year, but the holiday magic will continue in a whole new way.

The theme of 2020’s Festival of Trees is “Believe.”

Kicking off the holiday season during Covid, this year’s eight-day event will not be in person, but will highlight a televised Holiday Special & Day of Giving to air on KWQC-TV6 on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 10 a.m.

There will be select designs, ornaments, gift shop items and VIP baskets available for bid and purchase at www.qcfestivaloftrees.com or at the Quad City Arts Rock Island Gallery (1715 2nd Ave.), from Nov. 21 to 29.

Other Festival favorites include Toy Tree donations for Toys for Tots, Honor Tree Ornaments and Festival “Exclusive” Isabel Bloom sculptures.

The Nov. 21 Holiday Special & Day of Giving on KWQC will feature coverage from past parades, Centerstage entertainment from Moline’s Spotlight Theatre stage, a special message from Santa and much more. Quad City Arts invites the public to make a gift to the Day of Giving on the same day. A donation of just $10 (the cost of admission) gives one student an arts education experience for one year.

Quad City Arts filmed entertainment for its Nov. 21 TV special at Moline‘s Spotlight Theatre.

Every year, proceeds from Festival of Trees go to support local arts programming in our community.

You can also support Festival by shopping the online auction and pop-up gift shop. Starting Nov. 21st, place your bid online to win a designer tree, wreath or holiday basket curated by a Quad-Cities local.

Shop online or visit the pop-up gift shop and window display at Quad City Arts’ Rock Island Gallery, featuring unique gifts, an exclusive Isabel Bloom statue, original artwork from regional artists and more. Honor Trees, Designer Trees, Wreaths and Handcrafted Stockings will also be on display and available for purchase or bid Nov. 21-29.

The 20-foot-tall Toy Tree of past festivals will be replaced by a toy drive through the end of November.

You can be part of something really big this holiday season by making a donation to the Toy Tree for Toys for Tots. A popular Festival attraction, the community comes together each year to fill a 20-foot tree with new and unwrapped toys that are typically used to create a magnificent work of art at the RiverCenter.

At the conclusion of Festival, all toys are donated to the local Toys for Tots, so that all children can enjoy a magical holiday experience. While the event won’t be able to showcase the Toy Tree this year, RE/MAX River Cities is helping continue the tradition by accepting donations now until Nov. 30 at either RE/MAX River Cities location — 900 36th Avenue, Moline, or 4555 Utica Ridge Rd., Bettendorf.

RE/MAX River Cities will be hosting a Drop-Off Toy Drive on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Moline office parking lot off John Deere Road for any new and unwrapped toy donations. Their big 26-foot RE/MAX cold air balloon will be there.

You can also make a contactless donation via Amazaon WishList at https://rem.ax/amazonwishlist2020.

The pop-up gift shop and window display hours at Quad City Arts, Rock Island, will be:

Saturday, November 21: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, November 22: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday, November 23: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Tuesday, November 24: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Wednesday, November 25: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday, November 26: CLOSED

Friday, November 27: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday, November 28: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, November 29: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

An Isabel Bloom Christmas tree sculpture costs $32.

Honor Tree & Patriotic Tree Ornaments ($10 each) are available now for pre-order, including a new ornament to honor essential workers. Ornaments are personalized, then mailed to your home after Festival for you to enjoy as a keepsake. All pre-orders received by Nov. 13th will be displayed on one of the Honor Trees in Quad City Arts front window, Nov. 21-29.

Honor Tree Ornaments will be available for purchase during Festival at the pop-up gift shop. The Isabel Bloom tree sculpture is available for $32.

For more details on this year’s event, visit www.qcfestivaloftrees.com.

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Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.