This holiday season is unlike any other as our community takes the necessary precautions to stay safe and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. To help share some socially distanced holiday cheer, the Rochester Downtown Alliance is hosting a special extension of the Festival of Trees to highlight neighborhood locations including Winona State University’s downtown campus building.
Local downtown businesses and organizations, including WSU-Rochester on Broadway, will be displaying specially decorated holiday trees in accessible and easily viewable locations now through December 31, 2020. Most trees featured in the festival are displayed in downtown storefronts and are visible from the outdoors. Visitors to the WSU tree will be able to pick up a free holiday gift while supplies last.
Winona State University is proud to join with their neighbors in downtown Rochester to be a part of this community tradition. The WSU tree, titled “Painting the Town Purple,” is on display at the WSU-Rochester on Broadway campus suite located on the third floor of the historic Riverside building at 400 S Broadway Ave.
“We love being a partner with Rochester nonprofits,” says Dr. Jeanine Gangeness, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies. “Enjoy the season with a safe walk through downtown enjoying the trees and lights!”
The WSU tree was decorated by volunteers Kristi Ziegler, Director of Student & Campus Services for WSU-Rochester, and her husband Louis.
Passersby will be able to spot the WSU tree through the atrium along with the large holiday tree on display in the main lobby, which was decorated by faculty from the WSU College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Visitors are welcome to enter the building to get a closer look at the WSU tree. Face masks must be worn while inside the building and all campus health protocols must be observed.
Visitors will be treated to a holiday gift while supplies last. Free holiday ornaments and caramel candies can be found near the WSU tree during normal business hours. Thank you to Julie Pendergrass for contributing the delicious caramels!
The Rochester Downtown Alliance encourages the community to safely explore downtown with a Festival of Trees walking tour!
About the Festival of Trees
The Festival of Trees is an annual event organized by the Hiawatha Homes Foundation. The event is traditionally held at the end of November to help start the holiday season. This year, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is hosting an extended downtown portion of the festival with support from Destination Medical Center, Lund Tax & Accounting, and Hiawatha Homes.