SAVANNA – So many sponsors decorated trees for the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center’s Festival of Trees, organizers had to open a second room to show them all.
Event coordinators Penny Brown and Julane Bowman said community sponsors decorated almost 60 trees for display. A part of the Savanna community for less than 10 years, the Festival usually has about 50 trees, the women said.
The museum hosts the event, but not for the benefit of the museum located at 406 Main St.
“It’s just for the community. We don’t charge to get in,” Bowman said.
The rooms of brightly lighted trees are open through Dec. 9. The museum is open from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Festival is usually only 1 week in length, but this year the museum opened the event in conjunction with Savanna’s Downtown Christmas Walk in November, Brown said.
“We had a very good turnout for that,” she said.
Trees were decorated by businesses, churches, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and individuals. Some trees have gifts beneath them that visitors can win by buying raffle tickets. A silent auction is ongoing, and donations to the museum are welcome.
Visitors may vote for their favorite trees, table trees and creative trees. The most popular trees will receive a certificate of recognition.
Firefighters created a cat rescue within their tree. A real hydrant, hose and turnout gear surround the fir. The fire department is offering smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for raffle.
71st District state Rep. Tony McCombie submitted a State Symbols tree decorated with whitetail deer, monarch butterflies, violets and cardinals.
Traditional trees with balls and lights, clad in silver or gold, join themed trees such as the Pet Paradise tree prepared by Cub Scouts, the Be Humble and Kind tree from Junior Girl Scout Troop 1556 and a Cardiac tree decorated with biologically correct paper hearts and cardiograms by the Ambulance Department.
Ghost hunters 2 a.m. Paranormal decorated a tree with skulls and is offering two, 3-hour ghost tour tickets in the raffle. The head of Gene Simmons tops the Merry “KISS”-mas tree from Miner Agency.
Snowmen and mittens, ribbons, bows and lights are abundant throughout the forest of holiday trees.
“It’s just a bright spot in the community,” Bowman said.
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