Fairmont Hotel Tree Lighting Benefits Dell Children’s

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  • There were many places for guests to take pictures, including these towers of ornaments that resembled Christmas trees. All the ornaments were glued carefully a month in advance to prepare for the event.

  • Chorus Austin performs holiday music to entertain the many guests enjoying the evening’s festivities. The stage was decorated to match the theme as well.

  • One of the most looked forward to things on the agenda was getting a picture with Santa. The line wrapped around the whole floor, filled with mostly eager little kids.

  • To direct guests to the complimentary dessert bar, there was a sign hung up under the escalator that said “Santa’s Bakeshop”. The kids enjoyed eating the desserts.

  • One of the more visually appealing desserts, the macaroons constantly ran out. There were various colors that ran with the winter theme, including the blue chocolate macaroon with a candy snowflake on top.

  • An array of desserts graced the lobby for guests to enjoy. The were various options and they constantly needed to be refilled, as they kept running out.

  • To complement the desserts, customers were offered the chance to get a drink of Hot Chocolate or Hot Apple Cider. The drinks were free and hotel staff helped serve it.

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Music, sweet smells, and children’s laughter filled the air at the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Austin on Sunday, Dec. 1. The event consisted of a complimentary dessert bar called Santa’s Bakeshop, a photo opportunity with Santa, the tree lighting itself, and live musical performances. Donations were encouraged and 100% of the proceeds would go to Dell Children’s Medical Center.

“We all love celebrating the holidays,” event organizer Michelle Toop said. “So we wanted to make it beautiful, but also bring in people from the community. And then there’s a little bit of giving back as well because we’re partnering with the Children’s Hospital. That’s what I love most about the holidays [is helping others].”

There was a huge turnout at the event, with the audience age ranging from children to seniors.  The kids enjoyed meeting Santa and watching the tree lighting, while the elderly took photos and enjoyed the vast food and dessert offerings. The variety of desserts included macaroons, cupcakes, cookies, truffles, and hot chocolate or cider to wash it down.

“The turnout is awesome,” Toop said. “It’s only our second year that we’ve been open for Christmas. And so it’s exciting to see that people who came last year came back this year.”

A lot of preparation went into making this event possible.  The staff spent a bit over a month working with a catering company, getting decorations, and baking.

“A little bit of everything went into preparing for the event,” Toop said. “So we have a local company that helped us do all the decorations, which was a huge help. They’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks already. And then of course the macaroons have been baking for almost a month. They’ve been doing six or seven batches every single day. And then we needed to just get all of the cocktails ready and making sure we had enough people here to help out and direct traffic and things like that.”

Fairmont’s next major event, the Grand Christmas Brunch Buffet, is on Christmas Day from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m..  It costs $55 per child and $129 per adult with the proceeds benefit Dell Children’s Medical Center.