'A kickoff to the season:' Tripoli Shrine Feztival of Trees brings holiday magic to benefit kids

MILWAUKEE -- More than 50 unique trees sparkled at the Tripoli Shrine Temple Saturday, Nov. 23 during their annual Feztival of Trees. The event that included dozens of unusual trees supports the shrine.

Bob Capen

"It's kind of like, a kickoff for the season," said Bob Capen, Tripoli Shrine.

The third annual Shriner Feztival of Trees would benefit the shrine and its efforts helping kids.

"We're getting more and more people who want to be a part of it, so the tree sponsorships are growing also," said Capen.

Tripoli Feztival of Trees

Tripoli Feztival of Trees

This year's theme was A Winter Wonderland. Each tree was decorated by a sponsor, surrounded by several gifts -- set to be raffled off on the last day of the festival.

"Every tree has its theme, and I like seeing the different creative themes that all our sponsors bring to us," said Sean Schult, Tripoli Shrine technical director.

Schult, a Shriner, brought a different aspect to the forest of trees, serving as the talent behind the choreographed light show -- something that caught guests off-guard.

Tripoli Feztival of Trees

Tripoli Feztival of Trees

"Every half hour, we play a song," said Schult. "The lights in the room will dim, the song plays, and the entire room does a show to that song."

Schult puts in more than 100 hours to make the light show happen.

"Their mouths drop," said Schult. "They take out their cellphones and take videos of it. The families get together. Sometimes, they're even dancing to it."

Tripoli Feztival of Trees

Sean Schult

Shriners started incorporating music with performances throughout the week, and the festival has grown almost as fast as an actual tree!

"Every year, it gets more awesome, so definitely come and check it out every year," said Schult.

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Tripoli Feztival of Trees