Auction tradition continues

Nonprofit organizations to benefit from Hayden festival

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What: Holiday Tree Festival

When: Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m.

Where: Routt County Fairgrounds exhibit hall in Hayden

— The upcoming Holiday Tree Festival in Hayden will give nonprofits in Routt and Moffat counties the chance to raise money.

This will be the 18th year the Hayden Heritage Center has hosted the event, which will start at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Routt County Fairgrounds exhibit hall.

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

"It's a great way for the businesses to give a gift back to the local nonprofits," said Hayden Heritage Center curator Mary Pat Dunn.

Groups have until Dec. 1 to enter a tree.

Last year, about 15 groups benefited from the auction and more than 100 people attended.

"It was really good," Dunn said. "We raised over $5,000 for the local groups."

One of last year's trees was for the birds.

"Everything was edible on it," Dunn said.

Jerry Green crafted a Western style holiday decoration using horseshoes.

"That's what is great," Dunn said. "They have some really good wreaths and centerpieces and people are very creative with what they come up with."

Organizations can use natural or artificial trees and boughs and also may enter multiple items.

The museum uses the entry fees to help cover costs of the event, but Dunn said it is a way for the museum to give back to the community.

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.

Groups that participated last year included Routt County 4-H, school clubs, Routt County CattleWomen, and the Routt and Moffat County animal shelters.

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger will be the auctioneer at the event.

The festival opens at 12:30 p.m. for viewing, and bidding starts at 1:30 p.m.

"There are some great free eats, too," Dunn said.

Contact the Hayden Heritage Center at 276-4380 for more information.

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