2014 Festival of Trees kicks off Saturday in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

2014 Festival of Trees kicks off Saturday in Steamboat

Candice Bannister, the executive director of the Tread of Pioneers Museum, adjusts a decoration on one of the many trees that will be featured in this year's Festival of Trees. The event, which is sponsored by Yampa Valley Bank and Steamboat Ace at the Curve, features 21 trees decorated by local businesses, school groups and other organizations. The trees can be viewed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Nov. 24. The event is a fundraiser for the museum.
John F. Russell

If you go

2014 Festival of Trees

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Saturday to Nov. 24

Where: Tread of Pioneers Museum, 800 Oak St.

Pioneer Christmas Story-time with Lulie Crawford

When: 11 a.m. and noon Saturday

Where: Tread of Pioneers Museum, 800 Oak St.

Sponsor Party

When: 6 p.m. Monday

Where: Tread of Pioneers Museum, 800 Oak St.

Senior Tea

When: 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday

Where: Tread of Pioneers Museum, 800 Oak St.

— At the Tread of Pioneers Museum, decorators diligently worked to bring their creative ideas to life through a Christmas tree.

On Wednesday afternoon, 4-H kids delicately placed ornaments on trees and members of the Kiwanis Club chatted about their tree theme and where to place each decoration.

It’s that time of year again for the 20th Festival of Trees event, hosted by the museum.

This year, 21 trees will be featured for public viewing from from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Nov. 24. The event is the museum’s major fundraising event of the year with funds going to programs, education, exhibits and preservation. Candice Bannister, the executive director of the museum, said she hopes to net about $9,000 this year.

“It gets people into the holiday spirit and allows people to have their own unique message with each organization’s own embellishments,” Bannister said. “There is a lot to be seen and appreciated at the event.”

At 11 a.m. and noon Saturday, children of all ages are invited to visit the museum to listen to Pioneer Christmas stories from Routt County and the Old West by Lulie Crawford. She is the daughter of one of Steamboat Springs’ founding families and will be at the museum to tell her holiday stories and Christmas experiences growing up.

The Sponsor Party is scheduled for Monday night and will consist of names being drawn out of hat and the order in which the name is drawn is the order the sponsors can choose their favorite tree.

Featuring eighth grade students from the Emerald Mountain School, the Senior Tea event Nov. 20 will be an afternoon of holiday music played throughout the museum. The students will play their string instruments for a small concert at 2 p.m. for seniors from Casey’s Pond Senior Living then again at 3 p.m. for all seniors in the community.

“It’s allows the students to have a connection with the community in town,” said Sharon Mensing, head of the Emerald Mountain School. “I love seeing the interaction between them, and they are really talented performers, as well.”

For the past 10 years, the Emerald Mountain School has participated in the event. This year, the school’s themed tree is “Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday.”

Last year, the Kiwanis Club participated in the event for the first time with the theme that featured Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp’s 100th anniversary. The group has created Christmas bulb ornaments for 32 years during the holidays. Member Clair Erickson said the tradition went along with the idea of the Festival of Trees.

“We choose snow as our theme because it’s the most talked about thing in town during the winter, (so) why not have it as our theme,” Erickson said.

John Piret, the senior vice president of Yampa Valley Bank — one of the major sponsors of the event in addition to Ace at the Curve — said the Festival of Trees allows himself and others in the community to create something they don’t usually have the opportunity to do.

“I’ve watched this every year since I was 6 years old and continue to see what people do each year,” Piret said. “It’s a staple of the holidays for my family.”

Last year, his tree “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was the favorited decoration. This year, he and his daughter have spent hours hand-folding fake dollar origami for their tree that will represent all things that have to do with currency, a “Money Tree” of sorts.

“I look forward to seeing the other trees and how they come together from everyone’s dedicated time and effort,” Piret said.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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