Tannenbaum Forest Celebrates Old-World Christmas To Help Kids

AMANA, Iowa -- The annual Tannenbaum Forest wraps up this weekend, after a four weekend run in Amana's Festhalle Barn. The annual Christmas celebration features 47 trees cut from the local Amana timber and decorated by local businesses.

The suggested $3 donation goes to help the Stead Family Children’s Hospital at the University of Iowa.

People come by the hundreds on weekends to see Santa and all the lighted trees, but the people who come need to have their winter coats on. The celebration is held inside a former Amana dairy barn.

“As tourism was increasing, we decided this would be an opportunity to utilize this structure,” said Dave Rettig, executive director of the Amana Convention and Visitors Bureau. “So we raised money and we got some grants, and we turned it into what’s called the Festhalle, and the Festhalle is German for Festival Hall.”

Propane heaters add warmth to the festive lights. The trees draw people to town who may decide to look for some Iowa-made Christmas gifts.

“Christmas in the Amanas, it’s different to going to the mall and shopping online,” said Rettig. “Christmas in Amana is very relaxing, kind of more of an old-world feel to it. The streets are decorated up. It’s kind of a slower pace here in the Colonies. We like it that way.”

If you would like to take in Christmas in the Amanas, here is a link for information.

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