29th Festival of Trees will begin with strolling supper

Photo by Paul Bates
This scene will be repeated during a dinner dance at the Dearborn Country Club Dec. 7 when the Michigan Jenny Lind Club honors the memory of Saint Lucia, a young Christian girl who was martyred and killed for her faith in 304 A.D. Shown during a Lucia pageant at a previous club dinner dance are Dearborn residents Kristen Bates (left) and her sister Nicole, who wears a crown of candles as she portrays Lucia and serves refreshments. It is said that Lucia wore candles in her hair to light the way as she delivered food and drink to Christians hiding in catacombs.

By Evelyn Cairns
A black-tie-optional strolling dinner, live entertainment and a silent auction will kick off the 29th annual preview party gala for the annual Festival of Trees Nov. 23 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn.

The gala is scheduled for 6:30 to 11 p.m. with Jim Johnson, midday host of WOMC-FM 104.3, as master of ceremonies. Johnson, known for promoting Detroit and its musical history, has helped many charities raise awareness of their causes.

Tickets, $75, adults, $25, children, are available on the festival website, www.fot.org.

The festival, a benefit for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Michigan, will open to the public at 2 p.m. Nov. 24 and continue through Dec. 1. Admission will cost $5, adults, and $3, children (those under 2 will attend free).

In addition to 3-, 4- and 7-foot beautifully decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses, the event will offer a gift shop, a miniature village, a model-train display, photographs with Santa and children’s activities including face painting.

Among organizations whose wreaths will be available for sale are the Dearborn Garden Club; Dearborn Heights Garden Club; the Women’s National Farm & Garden Association, Trenton Branch; and Grosse Ile Garden Club.

Participating gingerbread-house designers include Henry Ford Community College, Sweet Nothings of Wyandotte and the Summit Academy of Flat Rock.

Saint Lucia dinner set
Members of the metropolitan Detroit Swedish community will gather at the Dearborn Country Club Dec. 7 for the Michigan Jenny Lind Club’s annual dinner dance honoring the memory of Saint Lucia, a young girl who was martyred and killed for her Christian faith in 304 A.D.

The black-tie-optional event will begin with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m., with dinner, a Lucia pageant and dancing to the music of an orchestra to follow.

According to stories handed down by monks who introduced Christianity to Sweden, the young Lucia, wearing candles in her hair to light the way, delivered food and drink to Christians hiding in catacombs.

Maria Swanson of Northville, a Jenny Lind Club spokeswoman and former Dearborn resident, said the organization is named for the famous opera singer who was well known as the “Swedish Nightingale.” Lind donated the money from her concerts to charities, particularly for the endowment of Swedish schools.

The Jenny Lind Club is composed of individuals of Swedish birth or ancestry and others interested in Swedish art and culture.

Tickets for the dinner dance, open to anyone interested in Swedish culture, are $65 ($20 for those under 18). For reservations or more information, call 313-820-9522 or e-mail amn48168@wowway.com. The deadline for reservations is Nov. 28.

The Dearborn Country Club is at 800 N. Military.

Open-caption play is slated
Open-caption service to accommodate hearing-impaired individuals will be available for a performance of “Elf the Musical” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Detroit Opera House. Designated seats will be on the main floor.

Non-captioned performances of the play, about an orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts, are scheduled for Dec. 3 through 15.

A limited number of specially priced tickets for the captioned play ($34 to $69) are available by calling 313-872-1000, Ext. 0.

For tickets for other performances of “Elf” ($24 to $72), go to www.ticketmaster.com (800-982-2787) or www.broadwayindetroit.com.

Coming up . . .
Nov. 21— Annual Nutcracker Luncheon & Boutique of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council; at the Detroit Athletic Club, 241 Madison; 10:30 a.m., shopping begins; noon to 2 p.m., luncheon, entertainment and raffle; for tickets, $75, $115 and $165, call the council office at 313-576-5154.