The sixth-annual Festival of Trees wrapped up the 2019 season on Dec. 21 at the Carnegie Library Museum.


This year’s event featured the highest number of entries yet, with 50. The number was an increase from 46 last year and a large jump from 12 in the festival’s first year.


“Thanks to our loyal, with-us-from-the-start six-year participants, our first-time participants and everyone in between! You are all critical parts of the Festival’s success,” organizers Laura Stebbins and Katie Schott said. “We’re forever thankful for your creativity along with the time and effort you devote to the Festival to make it the growing community event that it is!”


The organizers added while the event isn’t a competition, as its success is determined by the participants, attendees still voted for their favorite entries.


This year, 456 voted for their favorite, versus 323 last year. Festival organizers said the votes were spread across the 50 entries, with no one entry earning eight percent of the votes.


Showtime Studio was this year’s top vote-getter, with 7.5 percent of the vote. St. Patrick Church was close behind, followed by Raccoon River Valley Bicycle Co. Perry Paint and Glass and Chrissy Von Behren tied for fourth, followed by Hometown Heritage in fifth place.


This year’s voting process was changed, as attendees no longer voted with money for their favorite entry. Instead, attendees were handed a voting ticket and asked to vote for their favorite entry. Two donation boxes were added to existing boxes, as festival organizers said donations help keep the annual event going.


Two quilts, created by Linda Andorf, were also raffled off and brought in $305.


This year’s event brought in $650.05 between the donation boxes and proceeds from the quilt raffle. That number was down from last year’s total of $952, though organizers said it was likely due to the voting change.


Donations can still be made by mailing checks, made out to the Carnegie Library Museum, to Susie Moorhead at City Hall, 1102 Willis Ave. P.O. Box 545 Perry, IA 50220.


Organizers also encourage businesses, organizations, churches, individuals and others to think about participating in 2020, as there is still room to grow the annual event.