Benzie County Festival of Trees benefits Habitat for Humanity

BENZIE COUNTY — Christmas comes to the Benzie Area Historical Museum with the Festival of Trees, bringing with it decorated Christmas trees and wreaths.

The Festival of Trees will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 24, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 25, at the museum.

A Christmas tree sporting vintage decorations was one of the offerings at the 2017 Festival of Trees. (Courtesy Photo)

A Christmas tree sporting vintage decorations was one of the offerings at the 2017 Festival of Trees. (Courtesy Photo)

Over 100 trees and wreaths, donated and decorated by area individuals, organizations and businesses, will be on display and on sale. Visitors can come in and bid on a tree or wreath to get a head-start on Christmas decorating. Trees range in size and shape, as well as decoration style. Everything from patriotic to undersea themed trees have been present at previous festivals, along with more traditional trees.

Proceeds from the event will go to Benzie County Habitat for Humanity.

Those who don’t wish to purchase decorations can still visit and marvel at the decorate trees and wreaths. A free-will offering for Habitat for Humanity will be accepted from those who wish to donate.

“We have some new decorators this year,” said Kathi Houston, coordinator for the event. “We start re-connecting with decorators in September, and some new people volunteered.”

She also said the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store provided wonderful support, such as supplying decorations.

Other members of the community also step up and help out for the festival.

“Three different growers have donated fresh full-sized trees,” Houston said. “We’ve also got some potted trees that have been donated.”

On Nov. 24, there will be several readings of Christmas tales. At 1 p.m., “The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree” by Gloria Houston and Barbara Cooney will be read.

At 4 p.m., the traditional reading of Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” will also be read.

“This is the first time we’ll be reading ‘The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree’,” Houston said. “It is a children’s story. It is the 10th year we’ve read ‘A Christmas Memory’.”

There also will be a special exhibit set up for the festival.

“The museum board and volunteers look forward to welcoming the community to the museum for this magical event,” said Barbara Mort, museum director. “As always, we will offer a special exhibit, with this year’s features hand-crafted pieces of lace and crochet from days gone by. We’re so excited at the opportunity to partner with another nonprofit — Habitat for Humanity — and so grateful to the community for supporting this event.”

The event began in 2001 at the Mills Community House, but since 2005, the Benzie Area Historical Museum has hosted the Festival of Trees, and Houston called it a wonderful partnership.

Festival of Trees is organized by a committee of 12 volunteers, which is supported by the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, the Benzie Area Historical Museum and other community organizations and businesses.

 

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