Amana community giving back with classic Christmas celebration

47 trees decorated by businesses from all over the Amanas sparkle throughout the Tannenbaum forest.

A 30-year old tradition in the Amanas, the Tannenbaum Forest, brings Christmas cheer to Eastern Iowa, while also helping the Children at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

47 real Christmas trees make up the largest exhibit of Christmas trees in the state. Each individual tree was decorated by businesses from around the Amanas including local schools.

"The Amana heritage is German," David Rettig the executive director of the convention and visitors bureau of the Amanas said."You think of Tannenbaum, you think of that German tradition and for us to be able to show that heritage and show Eastern Iowa what the Amanas are about, it's great."

The Tannenbaum is a common sight in Germany as the "Tanne" or pine tree in English can be found throughout the country. German families, just like American families decorate their trees for the Christmas season. This year proceeds from the Tannenbaum Forest benefit the children at Stead, making sure they have an enjoyable holiday season as well.

"We know that people especially this time of year who are less fortunate than us that are having medical issues to be able to give to them is very important to us and for the people who set this up an organize this to be able to have a positive impact on somebody's life," Rettig said.

This weekend marks the last weekend to see the Tannenbaum forest, if you would like to know more on how to see the Christmas magic, click here. A donation of $3 is encouraged for adults but not mandatory. All proceeds will go to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's hospital.

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