DES MOINES, Iowa — After being virtual last year due to the pandemic, the Festival of Trees and Lights fundraiser put on by Blank Children’s Hospital returns in person this weekend in Des Moines.

The event starts Friday and has around 80 uniquely decorated trees on display at the Iowa Events Center – Veterans Memorial Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center.

There are a few differences this year. The kids’ activities have been shifted into a take-home format, and organizers are requiring masks, as well as a one-way path around the trees for distancing purposes. 

The festival began at 10 a.m. Friday. It goes from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The event raises money for two very important causes: the Child Life program and the Center for Advocacy and Outreach at Blank Children’s Hospital.

“I’m just super happy that we can be in person. We work really, really hard. And the rest of the world has continued, we’re all coming out of COVID. But in the hospital, we’re still dealing with it every single day and our staff, they’re exhausted. We wanted to be able to still have the event because it’s so important,” said Alyssa McKinney, senior director of development for Blank Children’s Hospital.

Tickets are $5 per person and you are able to purchase tickets on site or online here.