festival faq

What Is Festival of Trees?

More than just a premier holiday event, Festival of Trees is the annual fundraiser for Quad City Arts, a local nonprofit arts organization.


It takes more than 3,000 volunteers, 650 designers, 3,500 CenterStage entertainers, and 150 sponsors to make Festival of Trees a time-honored and beloved Quad City tradition. Festival is recognized as one of the top events of its kind in North America, raising millions of dollars in support of local arts and arts education since 1986.


More than 100,000 attendees experience Festival each year, making it one of the largest attractions in the Quad Cities. This fundraiser makes it possible for Quad City Arts to provide quality arts programming and support year-round for the residents of six counties in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.


For 11 days in November, the 30,000 square foot River Center complex is completely transformed into a winter wonderland featuring over 150 designer displays.


Special attractions include the Festival Express train, Gingerbread Village, Tinsel Treasures Gift Shop, High School Art Exhibit, CenterStage Entertainment, Reindeer Games Children’s Activity Center, Santa’s Throne, and so much more! 


This treasured holiday tradition also consists of seven ticketed special events held throughout the 11-day spectacle, along with a free Holiday Parade in downtown Davenport that kicks off the holiday season in the Quad Cities!  

The History of Festival of Trees

In 1986, during a time where the Quad City community was suffering from an economic depression, Festival of Trees was created to bring the community together, provide artistic expression and to develop a community event in the area. 


The event was specifically instigated as a fundraiser for the Visiting Artist Series, and has since become the major fundraiser for Quad City Arts. Over the past 30 years, Festival has evolved from a weekend-long event in one room, into an 11-day event utilizing the entire 70,000 square foot RiverCenter complex in Downtown Davenport. 

how can i support festival of trees?

Festival of Trees depends on the support from community members like you! You can help support our mission in so many ways:

a monetary donation, donating to Toys for Tots through our toy treebecoming a designer in one of our many design areas, signing up for a volunteer shift, becoming a sponsor, purchasing special event tickets, purchasing items at Festival like trees, wreaths, gift shop items, local art, or raffle tickets, or by inviting your friends and family to come enjoy Festival with you!

Quad City Arts reserves the right to reject any designs that do not align with our mission. This may include, but is not limited to: any violent or harmful messages or imagery, commercial promotional items, and political statements of any kind.

what is there to do at festival?

We have something for everyone at Festival! While Festival takes place at the RiverCenter in Downtown Davenport (and there are lots of things to do and see there!), there are also several events that occur at various locations throughout the 11-day spectacle. Find out more about Teddy Bear Tea, Sugar Plum Ball, Grand Premiere, and our other ticketed events on our special events page! We also kick off the season with the beloved Holiday Parade!

can i get a refund?

As Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for Quad City Arts programs, we do not offer refunds on any special event tickets, general admission Festival tickets, or designer and parade registration-related fees. 

how can my group or business get involved?

We love working with other organizations in our community! Some businesses choose to be sponsors, walk in the holiday parade, submit designs, or volunteer as a group! We also welcome smaller clubs and groups. Find out more about group rates and tour information on our admissions page!

where can i buy special event tickets?

Special event tickets are only sold through Quad City Arts and Festival of Trees. You may order tickets online, over the phone, or in person once they go on sale. Call or visit Quad City Arts at 309-793-1213, 1715 2nd Ave. Rock Island IL 61201, or purchase online through our special events page! Special event tickets are non-refundable. 

is there a waiting list for sold out events?

Some of our more popular events sell out quickly! While we do keep a waiting list, there is no guarantee that a spot on the wait list will result in a ticket or admission to the event. Call Quad City Arts to be placed on a waiting list and for more information at 309-793-1213.

where can i find my photo with santa?

Photos with Santa will be available through the photographer at the conclusion of Festival. While at Festival, you may purchase digital or printed copies. Our photographers work hard to get you those pictures as soon as they can, but they take a LOT of photos during Festival, so there is no guarantee that you will receive your photos immediately. More information will be available closer to the event date. 

what can kids do at festival?

Festival is the perfect family-friendly event! Kids are welcome to explore the main floor, enjoy various crafts and games at the activity center, visit with Santa, be a conductor for the Festival Express, say hello to our costumed characters and Bo the Bear, visit the Gingerbread Village, satisfy their sweet tooth at the Treat Shoppe, and lots more! We also have several special events that are kid-friendly, such as Teddy Bear Tea and Sugar Plum Ball. Don't forget to watch the Holiday Parade, too!