Tradition continues with tree auction

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Decorating a tree isn't hard, but with some creativity and flair, local service and youth groups can raise money from their work at the Holiday Tree Festival on Dec. 4.

This will be the 17th year the Hayden Heritage Center has hosted the event, which will start at 1 p.m. in the Routt County Fairgrounds exhibit hall.

For $5 to $10, nonprofit groups can enter a tree, wreath or centerpiece decorated traditionally or with a theme. Businesses and community members bid on the pieces, and the proceeds from their sales go to the group, which may keep the funds or dedicate the money to another cause.

The entry deadline is Tuesday.

Last year, 22 organizations raised more than $5,500. The highest bid was $320 for a tree, museum board member Judy Green said.

More than 35 buyers took home creative pieces, including a tree from the Routt County Cattlewomen that was decorated in an American Indian theme with leather tepees and pheasant feathers.

Another tree, decorated by the Hayden High School cheerleaders, took a tropical tone.

"It's usually very well attended," Green said about the Holiday Tree Festival.

Businesses that cannot attend the event can send their bid to a museum board member.

The museum benefits from entry fees, but the museum board started the event to help local youth and other groups raise funds for projects and trips.

When pieces come up for bid, a member of each group will talk about what the group plans to do with money raised during the auction.

"It's a chance for these kids to promote themselves in front of a group of people," Green said.

The tree festival is open to nonprofit groups in Routt and Moffat counties. Organizations can use natural or artificial trees and boughs and also may enter multiple items.

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger will be the auctioneer.

The festival opens at 1 p.m. for viewing, and bidding starts at 1:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Setup will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com.

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