’Tis the season to branch out to The Baby Fold's Festival of Trees, starting with an opening day breakfast Friday (7-9 a.m., $30) at Bloomington’s Interstate Center and continuing there through Sunday, with its bounty of custom-designed trees, wreaths and centerpieces, gingerbread villages, silent auctions, live entertainment, special themed events and more. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more details, climb up to www.festoftrees.org.
Deer to our heart
Four furry legs and a pair of pointy antlers can’t be beat for a photo op, especially this time of the year. Hence, the first of two sessions of the annual Holiday Pictures with the Reindeer, from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at — where else? — Bloomington’s critter-craving Miller Park Zoo (next op: 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 25). One photo session can have up to six people in front of the lens; cost is $20 (regular zoo admission not included). Reservations and pre-payment are required. Call 309-434-2243.
Time to go watch East Peoria get lit via the area’s biggest illuminated procession, the East Peoria Festival of Lights Parade, at 5:45 p.m. Saturday along two miles’ worth of Washington Street through downtown East Peoria (note: there's a new route change this year, with the parade turning right off Washington onto Taylor, and ending at the U.S. Post Office at Taylor and Springfield). The festival itself doesn't plug in until a week later, on Thanksgiving Day. Also turning on this weekend: lighted parades in Decatur (5:30 Sat.) and Gibson City (6:30 p.m. Sat.). Getting by, sans currents in broad daylight: the Farmer City Christmas Parade at 2 p.m. Sunday.