If you thought the Villages Beautiful Festival of Trees just gets bigger every year, you’d be pretty close. “We have 61 entries this year,” said Sally Angle, one of the organizers. “That ties for another high. “But the biggest thing this year is that we’ve had much more community support than in previous years. “We have a bunch of newer residents, new blood, and it’s been nice to share the work out more.” One big change this year is that all of the trees came with lights on them, but none of the entrants seemed to mind. “It’s hard to find trees without lights now,” Angle said. “We buy the trees so that everybody starts off on the same footing and since the trees are more expensive, and though we subsidize them to a certain degree, we’ve had to charge a little bit more. “But we’ve had no complaints. “Frankly, I think a lot of people were just as happy not having to string lights on their trees.” This is Villages Beautiful’s fundraiser for the year and has been following the same format more or less since it began. Entrants create Christmas creations in eight categories, then people come in and put tickets in the boxes by the entry they’d like to win. Winners are chosen by a ticket being picked out of the box. The weekend show also features local music and goodies for sale. This year’s theme was “Christmas Stories.” Of course the main reason for entering the Festival of Trees is to help support the good work Villages Beautiful does. But there’s also a bit of bragging rights for the year involved. The Festival organizers have compiled a complete list of winners (see below)
2018 Festival of Trees Winners
Christmas Stories . . . was the theme for this year’s Festival of Trees. All entries showed creativity and great talent. Winners were two-fold: those who entered an item, and those who took it home!
Large Trees: W.A. Robinson Asset Management Ltd. won 1st prize for their tree “12 Days of Christmas” and the lucky winner was Neda Debassige-Toeg. The 2nd prize went to Community Living for their creation “A Spidery Christmas Miracle”, taken home by Debbie Hackett. The 3rd prize was St. Lawrence College Employment Services with “The Polar Express to Employment Service” which was won by Phil Gray. “It’s Joyful and Triumphant!” decorated by the Township of CF went to Dawn Gillam. The Friday Night Ladies tree “Nutcracker SWEET” was won by Tanya Whan and “Rudolph” by Mike Dean’s Super Foods went to Dawnalda Wilson.
Medium Trees – 1st prize entry by NFTC “The Legend of the Poinsetta” was won by Glenda Sly; 2nd prize by Sharbot Lake Pharmasave, “Merry Grinchmas Tree” went home with T. Asselstein; and 3rd prize winner, “The Little Engine That Could” by CF Railway Heritage Society went to Mike Thompson. “Once Upon a Christmas” by Lakeside Readers went to Debbie Harding; “The Best Stories begin with an Experience” by GREC Parent Council went to Maureen and “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by N.F. Little Theatre was won by D. Jones.
Mini Trees: Yoga Connection won 1st prize for their entry of “Tree Meditation” which was won by Alysha Hamilton. “The Story of Christmas” took 2nd prize by the Parham United Church Sunday School and went to L. Pickett. RFCS Day Care won 3rd Prize for their entry of “Tree of Knowledge (A Gift of Reading) went to Stephanie.
Anything Goes: “A Christmas Carol” by Coldwell Banker received 1st prize in this category and was won by Jacob Whalen. “The Three Bears’ Christmas” by Nancy Harding took 2nd prize and was won by Scott Carl. The 3rd prize, “Let Christmas Sparkle” by Linda DeVries went to Shirley Burke. “Included in all the Reindeer Games” by the Treasure Trunk was won by Sarah McCullough. “The Grinch” by Seeds & Co. was won by Sharon Gable and “Christmas Conversations” by Goodfellow’s Flowers was brought home by Ilona Cox. “Talk Around the Table” by Ram’s Esso went to Bonnie; George Allen’s “Sharbot Lake Express” went to Nicki Hearns and the Community Drop In “Light of the World” was won by Shirley Burke; “A Gift of Love” by Lindsay Stephenson went to Kathy Scott; the entry by the RFCS Youth Program of Arden “Frosty the Snowman” was won by Barry Allen. The Maples “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was won by Barb Hopper and C.J. won Joanne Pickett’s of Arden Pottery “Bee Sweet”.
Baskets – “The Night Before Christmas at Grandma’s House” by the Medical Center Fitness Class took 1st prize and was won by Betty-Ann Blyth; “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” by Seed to Sausage won 2nd prize and went home with Shelley Purdy; 3rd prize, “Nutcracker Suite (Sweet)” by the Friends of Arden to Faye Steele. “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by the Sharbot Lake & District Lions won by Mary Stinson; “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Frontenac Catalyst LEO Club was won by Nathan; “Getting Ready for Christmas Stories” by the Canadian Legion to Germaine Wilks; “Tales over Coffee” by Cardinal Cafe to C.J.; “Sweet Christmas Time” by Sharbot Lake Country Inn to Shelley Hamilton; “Sugar Plum Dreams” by Wine Plus to Justin Gray; “Christmas Magic” by Sharbot Lake Retirement Centre to Glenys Bender; “Christmas in Whoville” by the Food Bank went to Cindy Young; “A Frosty Sleigh Ride” by St. Lawrence Employment Services to Sondra Feasby; “Believe in the Magic of Christmas” by S.L. Wellness Clinic was won by Nolan; “Festival Brushings!” by S.L. Dental Office went to Misty Wheeler and “Go Nuts” by Lake District Realty went home with Janet Anderson.
Gingerbread Creations: 1st prize went to “Bumbles’s After Cookies” by Northern Connections Adult Learning and was won by Noah Hertendy. 2nd prize, “Railway Heritage Park” by Heritage Railway Assoc. went to Miles Moore. 3rd prize “Christmas Vacation” by Suzanne Veh was won by Mia Camean and “The Christmas Tradition” by Anne Howes and Heather Card was won by Deb Jones.
Wreaths: “The Story of Christmas” by Sharbot Lake 39’ers received 1st prize and was won by Shirley C. The 2nd prize wreath, “A Wilderness Christmas”, entered by the Arden Seniors, went home with Mickey; and 3rd prize, “Journey in Ginger” by Flight Centre Independent to Lilley Legacy-Zierer.
Wall Hangings: Mike Mahoney was the lucky winner of the 1st prize “Grandma’s Christmas Storybook” by Arden Batik; 2nd prize “The Raven that Stole Santa’s Hat” by Gallery on the Bay went to Marisa Hibbard; and Janice Anderson was the 3rd prize winner for “The Grinch” to Marisa Hibbard. The winner of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” by Rosmarie Bowick was Brenda Perrin; “Frosty the Snowman” by Ron Veh went to Angie Cowdy and “Memories of Poppa” by Carol Raymo was won by Angie Mallette.
Gift Certificates – The Gibson’s Garage gift certificate for an Oil Change was won by Liz Bonser; the Amazing Dollar Store certificate went to Max Conboy; the Weekend Stay at Rock Hill B&B was won by Lynne Taylor and the Free Platter from Subway was won by R.B.
The food hamper (valued at $200) put together by Villages Beautiful, was won by Jim Dew. The People’s Choice Award, as well The Children’s Choice Award went to “The Grinch” by Seeds & Co.
Each year Villages Beautiful recognizes a person or persons who have contributed their time and effort to the festival over the years. This year that recognition went to Ann Howitt.
Many others must be recognized too: there are those who, instead of making an entry, contribute “in kind”, either financially or through services needed by the festival. Villages Beautiful thanks the following: Cota’s Catering; Sharbot Lake Marina; Ireton Fendley Prof. Corp; Donna’s Sign Shoppe; Home Hardware; Gray’s Grocery; Mike Dean’s Super Foods; Tarasick Carpentry, Sydenham Veterinary Services; Leonard Fuels; Goodfellows Funeral Home; Ultramar/Square Boy Pizza; and 1010 Lawn & Garden Centre.
Thank you to all the volunteers that made this year another success. The theme for next year is: “Down Home Country Christmas”.