After planning and producing the Missoula Festival of Trees since 1999, Mountain Home Montana and Festival Chairman Laura Snyder have gifted the holiday event to the Missoula Downtown Association (MDA), which will look to build, expand and sustain the event into a festive holiday experience for all in the heart of Downtown Missoula.“We are excited to have the opportunity to build upon Laura Snyder’s success with this event, and we see great potential for the Festival of Trees to be a long-term, community-wide, holiday anchor experience for people of all ages, interests and backgrounds,” said Aimee McQuilkin, owner of Betty’s Divine and co-chair of the 2017 festival. “We plan to bring more modern and non-traditional concepts to the event, while sustaining some of the customary components that make this event so special.”

The Festival of Trees Committee will look to build a beautiful Enchanted Forest December 2-9  with large and small trees, garland, lights, plants, holiday décor, furniture and more, and host several community events and holiday parties in the Forest. Examples include the Teddy Bear Tea for young children, a Holiday Soiree, the Downtown Missoula holiday party, and holiday parties for a select number of businesses. The committee is also looking to collaborate with the Missoula arts community for designing the space and trees, and they’re interested in partnering with a Hellgate High School Senior to create and host a special high school dance as a senior project.

The MDA will start small with the 2017 event, but has the goal of expanding to a weeklong holiday festival, filled with community engagement, beautiful lights and décor throughout Downtown, an Enchanted Forest that draws a regional audience, and a variety of businesses and organizations in Missoula engaged with the festival. Folks interested in helping design the forest or a tree, hosting a holiday party, sponsoring the event or serving on the planning committee can contact Leidy Wagener via phone (406-543-4238) or email (

Net profits from the 2017 Festival of Trees will be directed to Mountain Home Montana and the Missoula Downtown Foundation, which will use those funds for improvements in Downtown Missoula, including Caras Park, holiday décor, information kiosks and more.

"Mountain Home has had a fantastic 15 years with the Festival of Trees, and we are delighted to pass the baton to the Downtown Missoula Partnership,” said Crissie McMullen, Executive Director of Mountain Home Montana. “We are shifting our annual event to a Mother's Day Tea. Since our work is to house young mothers with their children, and to empower them to create safe homes of their own, Mother's Day is a mission-perfect celebration for us."

Mountain Home Montana will host its Mother’s Day Tea on Tuesday, May 9 at the Children’s Museum of Missoula. More information can be found online at