Tales from the Tread: 24th annual Festival of Trees | SteamboatToday.com

Tales from the Tread: 24th annual Festival of Trees

Betsy McGrew works to decorate a the tree sponsored by Adult & Pediatric Specialists at the Tread of Pioneers Museum. (Photo by John F. Russell/file)

Leaves are falling, winter is coming and that means it's time for the Tread of Pioneers Museum's 24th Annual Festival of Trees. This locals' favorite holiday tradition transforms the museum into a sparkling forest of beautiful holiday trees and runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 17 to 26 except Thanksgiving Day.

if you go

What: Tread of Pioneers Museum's Festival of Trees
When: Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving Day) Nov. 17 to 26

What: Senior Tea
When: 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20

What: Pioneer Christmas Storytime for Kids
When: 11a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24
More info: The Festival of Trees and all of the special events are free for Routt County residents. Call 970-879-2214 or visit treadofpioneers.org.

Twenty-five local organizations, artists, clubs and businesses decorate the trees to create a magical holiday wonderland. This year, the event showcases the talents of Emerald Mountain School, Holy Name Preschool, LiftUp of Routt County, Yampatika, local Girl Scout troops, the Ladies Recreation Club and more.

"This popular holiday event offers something for everyone," said event organizer and museum executive director Candice Bannister. "From preschoolers to seniors and everyone in between, people of all ages will enjoy the creativity and uniqueness of the trees."

Yampa Valley Bank and Steamboat Ace Hardware are the longstanding primary sponsors of the event who underwrite all of the event's costs. Another 23 sponsoring businesses and individuals buy the trees and proceeds fund the museum's preservation and educational activities. In total, 50 groups, along with the museum's volunteer corps, make this a true community event.

During your visit, don't forget to vote for your favorite tree in the tree decorating competition. Kids can win prizes if they find the three antique golden keys hidden in the trees. Adding to the event's charm, the historic Zimmerman house will be decorated for the holidays taking you back to Christmases of the past.

All local families are invited to Pioneer Christmas Story-time for Kids 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. Museum staff dressed in period attire with share pioneer and Victorian holiday traditions and local Christmas stories in the Victorian parlor. While you are here, you can take your holiday photos for your Christmas cards. All senior citizens are invited for cookies, cider and live music at the Senior Tea at 2 to 3 p.m.  Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Don't forget to check off everyone on your holiday shopping list in the museum store, where you'll find locally-made products, prints of local historical photographs, jewelry, artwork, regional books and historical toys and books for children.

After the festival ends at the museum Nov. 26, the fun continues with the trees on display all around town at the sponsor locations throughout the entire holiday season. Don't miss the magic and the wonder of the Festival of Trees.

Tread of Pioneers Museum has local history exhibits on Native American art, skiing and agriculture in a Queen Anne–style home at 800 Oak St. in Steamboat Springs. 

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