Festival of Trees continues to grow in fifth year

Allison Ullmann - Staff
Connie Iles points out an ornament on the Fareway tree to her granddaughter, Kyra Iles, at the Carnegie Library Museum. Kyra was visiting Perry from Scottsbluff, Nebraska. PHOTO BY ALLISON ULLMANN/THE PERRY CHIEF

Connie Iles pointed out a small shopping cart ornament to her granddaughter, Kyra Iles, on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The ornament hung on a tree decorated by the Perry Fareway store. The bottom of the tree, Iles pointed out to Kyra, was filled with cases of pop and packages wrapped like meat from the store.

The group soon moved down to look at another tree inside the Carnegie Library Museum. Iles’ other granddaughter, Berlin Iles, broke off to look at the tree decorated by the Showtime Dance Studio.

Berlin Iles, dressed in a pink coat, was drawn to the white tree decorated with pink feathers, ballerinas and other dance items.

Both trees are part of this year’s Festival of Trees. The event, in its fifth year, opened the 2018 season on Nov. 17.

Katie Schott, one of the organizers with Laura Stebbins, said the event has continued to grow. The first year featured around 12 entries. That number climbed to 39 last year and around 46 this year.

Some, like those decorated by Fareway and Showtime Dance Studio, are traditional trees. Others are smaller trees on tables, wreaths or private collections.

Schott added that around one-fourth of the entries are new to the Festival of Trees, while other businesses and organizations have participated all five years.

“It’s just fun to see the things that people come up with,” Schott said.

Minburn Communications went a different route with their entry this year, using wooden cable spools as its tree. Various pieces of telecommunications equipment were then used to fill the tree.

The Perry Piecemakers Quilt Guild used handmade pot holders as the ornaments on its tree. And the Dallas County Conservation Board created a snow scene complete with a sled, skates, skis and more.

“It’s always exciting to see what’s going to happen. We just don’t know,” Schott said.

She encourages the community to come out to the Carnegie Library Museum to look at all of the entries. Attendees can then vote for their favorites.

Envelopes are provided with the ballots. Attendees, Schott said, can choose to vote with or without money for their favorite entry.

“Obviously with a fundraiser, we would like them to. But we don’t want anybody not to vote. Everything is free about it,” she said.

Proceeds from the Festival of Trees will go back to the event for advertising and other costs to keep the event free for participants and attendees.

Two prizes will be handed out to the winning entries in January. One will be for the entry that collects the most money, while the other will be the one that collects the most votes.

The Festival of Trees will be open from 10-5 p.m. on Nov. 20 and 21. The trees will also be on display from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23 during the Lighted Parade and Holiday Celebration.

The Carnegie Library Museum will be closed on Nov. 22, 24 and 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The event continues from 10-5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, 12-4 p.m. on Saturdays and 1-3 p.m. on Sundays through Dec. 23.

Keep watching for more photos at www.theperrychief.com and in the Nov. 22 paper.