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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Festival of Trees can be experienced virtually this year

The Indiana Historical Society is taking extra precautions during the pandemic. But if you don't want to visit the Festival of Trees, you can see it from home.

INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time ever, the Indiana Historical Society is offering two ways to experience its 2020 Festival of Trees holiday exhibit — in-person or virtually.

"This year, our theme is 'Life is a Gift,'" said Jody Blankenship, the president and CEO of the Indiana Historical Society. "With everything that's happening through COVID, we wanted to emphasize that our lives are truly a gift."

The Indiana Historical Society is taking extra precautions during this year's pandemic, including mask requirements, social distancing and limiting capacity. But those who still don't feel comfortable going downtown can enjoy the 2020 Festival of Trees from home.

"When you're online, you can do just about everything that is happening here on our website,” Blankenship said. "We have 360-degree photography, so you can see the trees all the way around. You can vote for your favorite tree while participating from the safety and comfort of your home."

Even you can take part in the new virtual experience at FestivalofTreesIndy.org.

The IHS staff would love for you to see their 50 unique tree designs up-close.

"The sponsors have really all stepped up and done some beautiful and unusual trees for us," said Director of Events Tom Borman. "We have traditional trees, but then we have some very unique ones. One tree is made out of chairs. Another one is out of bottles!"

"I think this is a chance to come together in the holiday spirit," Blankeship added. "Take a deep breath after the year that this has been and enjoy the holidays. Let's just close out 2020, and leave it for the history books. We'll be studying it here at the Historical Society and get ready for 2021, which I think will be a much better year."

The Festival of Trees event has already begun at the Indiana Historical Society, and it continues through Jan. 9.