O Christmas trees

Tread of Pioneers Museum's annual Festival of Trees kicks off tonight

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— There is a special energy when it is time to trim the Christmas tree. "It's fun," said JoAnne Lathrop, a volunteer at the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

So you can imagine what it was like at the museum Tuesday and Wednesday when people packed into several rooms to trim 27 different trees.

The energy was jumping as people surrounded their Christmas trees, stringing lights, hanging ornaments and tying bows.

"We all get together and make all the ornaments," Steamboat Questers member Virginia Campbell said. "It's just fun."

The event is the eighth annual Festival of Trees, which is a fund-raiser for the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

"Christmas is just a special time of the year and it's fun to be a part of this," said Lathrop, who has helped to organize the event for six years.

With 27 trees, this year's event is the biggest it's ever been.

"It just keeps getting bigger and bigger," Museum Director Marty Woodbury said.

That's a good thing because the Festival of Trees is the museum's largest fund-raiser of the year.

The festival kickoff is tonight, with a wine tasting called "Wines for the Holidays."

Sponsored by Vino, more than 30 different wines will be served at the museum, which will have all of the finished trees on display.

"It really is a magical evening," Woodbury said.

Every year, a business sponsors a Christmas tree for the event. Then groups volunteer to decorate the trees, usually using handmade ornaments.

Sponsors are then drawn from a hat to decide who gets to choose the trees first.

The trees will be on display for viewing today through Tuesday. On Wednesday, the respected owners will pick up each tree and take it back to their business, which was determined in a drawing the night before.

"It gets really exciting. It really is quite fun," Woodbury said. "The decorators take a lot of pride in their trees."

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