History of Festival | Blank Children's Hospital of Des Moines


In 1984 the Festival of Trees & Lights made its debut in Des Moines, and since that time families and friends of all ages have eagerly awaited this fun-filled event to kick-off the holiday season. With beautifully decorated trees, a fun-filled children's area, food, entertainment and special events, "Festival" has become a central Iowa tradition.

In its 39-year history, the Festival has provided more than $12.2 million in financial support for Child Life, the Center for Advocacy & Outreach and other special programs and projects to serve the unique needs of children and their families. 

Festival is a volunteer supported event. Hundreds of volunteers give of their time to not only work at Festival but also help plan the event. In addition, a steering committee of volunteers is busy planning almost year round.

Purpose of Festival

  • To develop support and community appreciation of Blank Children's Hospital through a community - wide holiday event.
  • To promote community volunteerism in support of Blank Children's Hospital.
  • To provide revenue to support the Child Life and Advocacy & Outreach programs at Blank Children's Hospital.