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”.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 17:34

Busy year for Railway Society

It was a busy year for the Central Frontenac Railway Heritage Society, president Derek Redmond told its annual general meeting last week at the Anglican Church Hall in Sharbot Lake.

Redmond outlined the new station display which houses artifacts from the original station, production of a new map and brochure, a simulated grade crossing, more flowers and a flag as additions to Railway Heritage Park as well as last June’s Caboosefest gathering, T-shirt sales and participation in the Haunted Walk.

Director Sally Angle felt it important to point out that the rail display sign outside the Caboose is not the original, which is housed in the artifacts display shed.

“That’s right,” said Redmond. “It’s actually a photo on aluminum and we thought it unwise to display the original outside because it might deteriorate and we’ve already had one sign stolen.

“But from a passing horse on the trail, it looks passable.”

Treasurer Wayne Moase reported that despite several expenses (including about $3,950 to restore the track mobile), the Society still has $3,066 in the bank, part of which is due to a $1,159 grant the Society received from the Province of Ontario.

Part of the AGM is devoted to the election of directors. Derek Redmond, Sally Angle, Barb Neill, Lois Webster, Dean Wedden, Wayne Moase and Jerry Turzanski were elected. The directors will meet to choose officers from their ranks.

Ongoing projects listed included an aluminum pole for the block signal lights erected, replacing the steel wheels on the track mobile, a third motion detecting flood light, and essays for wayfaring signs to be erected by the County on the K & P Trail. The signs are slated for the Trailhead in Sharbot Lake, Tichborne, Shibley Road and Road 38, and White Lake Road and Road 38 — essentially where the trail crosses Road 38.

They’re also looking at planting more trees and installing a solar power system.

“We have the money for trees and Villages Beautiful will plant them,” said Angle.

The Society will look at sponsorship partnerships for the solar system.

Oh, and “we’re always looking for volunteers to man the Caboose during the summer,” said Angle.

Another aspect the Society is looking into is Heritage Festival weekend.

Mike Procter and Bob Miller are looking at moving their trappers display to Sharbot Lake from Arden next year.

“We noticed there’s not much going on in Sharbot Lake that weekend and we’d like to be a little closer to home,” Procter said. “We’d like to do the display with stew, hot chocolate and bannock.

“Arden is fine on its own.”

The Procter/Miller 1750-1850 camp began in Crow Lake Village before moving to Arden.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018 11:29

Villages Beautiful Update

Remember Christmas, and the Festival of Trees put on by the Villages Beautiful Committee? Well, winter is probably mostly over now, and the committee would like again to say thank you to all who submitted entries, volunteered , and came and bought tickets and donated to Villages Beautiful and to the Food Bank. It was a very successful event this past year, as we celebrated Canada and the Christmas season. If you are already thinking about next winter, the dates will the December 6 , 7, and 8 and the theme is Christmas Stories

Right now, however, we want to give you a preview of what we will be doing this summer. The proceeds from the Festival of Trees are divided between the villages that have representatives on the committee, and in past years the money has been used for barrels, benches, flags, trees, flowers in planters, flower beds, herbs, sod, soil, and mulch for the plantings. Volunteers spend a lot of time and energy throughout the spring and summer, planting and maintaining the flowers, trimming and weeding, replacing damaged or (alas) stolen plants, as well as trying to come up with new creative ideas to beautify our communities.

New volunteers are eagerly welcomed for both large and small tasks, and there is real satisfaction in walking or driving by “your” flowers, and seeing how they make our villages more attractive and welcoming. This year, we need a co-ordinator for the Sharbot Lake herb garden, and a representative to the committee from the village of Crow Lake. And, as always, people who enjoying getting hands in the dirt and/or people with mowing or weed-whacking equipment.... If you want to get involved, you can contact Doris Campsall (613-375-08174), Sally Angle (613-279-2777), or Sarah Hale (613-335-2073). Come out and join the fun!

Friday, 02 September 2016 14:13

Plant Canada 150 bulbs

16 35 villages beautifulAs summer gradually moves towards fall, Villages Beautiful Sharbot Lake would like to thank all those unnamed flower fairies who have planted and watered the various flower displays, boxes and tubs, throughout the village. This year has been a real challenge. We tend to take for granted that these displays continue throughout the hot dry weeks. But it is only the hard work of these residents and businesses that makes this possible. If you see one of these fairies, please thank them.

Looking ahead, did you know that there is an official Canada150 tulip bulb, which will be available exclusively at Home Hardware throughout Canada? Our own H.H. is putting in an order, so get yours in now as there obviously will be a limited supply. These need to be planted in the fall for spring flowering.

If you miss the boat on this one, we might suggest that just plain red and white tulips would look lovely to celebrate this event.

Worried about squirrels? Try placing chicken wire over them. The bulbs won’t mind but the squirrels will be frustrated. Or some varieties of daffodils come close to red and white and the squirrels don’t like them.

Can you imagine it, all of the village, and maybe all of Central Frontenac, abloom with red and white flowers of any kind throughout the season, to mark 150 Years of Confederation? Think about it as you plan for 2017. Tracey at the Lawn and Garden Centre at Clement Road would be happy to advise you on plants to suit a particular location. Happy Gardening.  

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 17:55

Festival of Trees 2015

Thanks to the many members of Villages Beautiful, an army of volunteers, and not least, those who donated unique creations and/or their musical talents to this year's festival, the much-anticipated annual event once again made for a joyful start to the Christmas season. From December 10 – 12, the Oso Hall in Sharbot lake was again transformed into a warm, twinkling and colorful Christmas wonderland, where numerous local talents took to the stage to entertain, while guests had the happy task of choosing which of the beautiful trees, wreaths, gift baskets, wall hangings, anything goes or gingerbread creations they wanted to try to win. The entries were donated by individuals, organizations and businesses from in and around the local community. The theme of this year's festival, Christmas, Past, Present and Future, made for some very intriguing displays.

Hats off to the organizers and volunteers who worked so hard to bring the spirit of the holidays to downtown Sharbot Lake, and do not forget that the beauty of this event comes not just once a year. Proceeds from the festival support Villages Beautiful, who come spring will be busy helping our hamlets to come alive with flowers and shrubs in the upcoming spring and summer seasons.

2015 Festival of Trees Winners

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow was the theme for this year’s festival of trees, and those traditions were shown in many fine and creative entries. 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 “Time Frame” and the lucky winner was Mackenzie Whan. The 2nd prize went to the Township of Central Frontenac for their decoration “Remember When”, taken home by Mike McGovern. The 3rd prize was Mike Dean’s Super Foods Store “Olde” which was won by Muriel Wager. “Brunfelsia” decorated by the Treasure Trunk went to Mary Raymond. St. Lawrence Employment Services “Out of this World Christmas” to Lorette Gray, and the Friday Night Ladies' “Santa Goes Back to the Future” to Shiobhan Weatherby.

Small Trees - First prize entry by North Frontenac Community Services “A Tree of Peace and Giving” was won by Steve Duggan; 2nd prize by North Frontenac Telephone Company, “Visions of Sugar Plums” went home with Cheryl Allan; and 3rd prize winner, “The Gift” by Subway went to Ainsley Thompson. “12 Days of Christmas” by RBC to Rob Harrison; “May the Light of Christmas Shine Through the Years” by the Sharbot Lake Pharmasave to Helen Hoogsteen; “Greetings Across Time” by Lake District Realty to Crystal Nedow; “Feeding Feathered Friends” by North Frontenac Little Theatre to H Ridell; and “Small Beginnings, Bountiful Future” by Flight Centre Associates to Alicia Cota.

Mini Trees: This new category was a great addition to the Festival. The CF Railway Heritage Society won 1st prize for their entry of “Getting Home for Christmas” which was won by John Lee. “Rewind, Play, Fast Forward” by Drapeau Automatic Sprinkler Corp. took 2nd prize and went to Deb Deline; and 3rd prize by Steve Duggan’s Law Office “Peace Tree” taken home by Ruth.Frontenac Plumbing’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” to Anne Howes.

Gingerbread Creations: First prize went to “Santa’s First Christmas” by the Whan/Melkman Family and was won by Bryson Gibson. Second prize, “Santa Got Run Over by a UFO” by Northern Connections Adult Learning Centre went home with Ben J.; and third prize “Traditions Through Time” by Linda DeVries to John Lee.

Wall Hangings: Carol Raymo’s 1st prize “Another Moonlit Christmas Eve on the Farm” to Brian West; Arden Batik’s 2nd prize “Christmas in the Spiral Galaxy” to James Duthie; and Ann Howitt’s 3rd prize winner “Forever Snoopy” to Glenys Bender. The winner of “Christmas in the Woods” by Helene Riddell was J. Copes; “Christmas is by Glades Taber” by Clip It went to Shiobhan Weatherby; and Gordon Wright’s “Old Tyme Country Christmas” to Barb Neil.

Wreaths: “Christmas in the Country ca. 1900” by Arden Seniors received 1st place and was won by Joanne Delyea. The 2nd place wreath, “Indulgence”, created by the Community Living North Frontenac, went home with J.C.; and 3rd place, “Honour. Live. Dream.” by Black Kettle Catering to Rob Moore. “Christmas Bells” by Seeds, to Doug Steele. The wreath titled “Where the Future Meets the Past” by CREC Student Council went to Ryan Michie.

Anything Goes: “A Natural Merry Christmas” created by the Sharbot Lake 39ers received 1st prize in this category and was won by Dawn Ray. “Wishing you Happiness in the Future” by Linda DeVries took 2nd prize and was won by Ardith Arney. The 3rd prize, “Life” by George Allen went to Helene Riddell. “Inspiration for a Christmas Tomorrow” by Larocque Masonry & Donna Larocque’s Sign Shoppe was won by Sue Kerteston.

Baskets – Friday Night Ladies’ “Always Time for Tea” took 1st prize and was won by Pam Giroux; “Christmas Nostalgia” by Friends of Arden won 2nd prize and went home with Heather Eagen; 3rd prize, “T’was the Night Before Christmas” by the St. Lawrence Employment Services to Diane Morrow. “Reading Through Time” by Lakeside Readers – T. Cox; “A Hair Raising Holiday” by Dynamic Hair Design – Brenda Whan; “Christmas Gone By, Happening & Yet to Come” by Sharbot Lake and District Lions – John Sparks; “A Taste of Summer Past ” by Sharbot Lake Farmers Market – Paula Rupert; “A Taste of the Season” by Cottage Country Outdoor Supplies – Heather Card; “I Think I’ll Go Back to Using Reindeer” by Desrosiers Small Engine Repair – Diane Morrow; and “Relaxing was, is and will always be the best time” by Sharbot Lake Country Inn – Linda Cooke.

Table Decorations – “Timeless Beauty” by Ram’s Esso received 1st prize in this category. The three parts of it were won by Ruth Pearce (chocolate basket), F. Harvey (Nutcracker), and Glenys Bender (floral arrangement). “Luck in the Future” by Norma’s Barbershop & Hair Styling and was won by M. Gilchrist.

Gift Certificates – The Gibson’s Garage gift certificate for an Oil Change was won by Chris Johnson, and the Amazing Dollar Store certificate went to Tina McConnell. The food hamper, put together by Villages Beautiful, was won by Chris Bertrim and Villages Beautiful “Snowman Evolution” went to Penny McGonagel.

The People’s Choice Award went to “Inspiration for a Christmas Tomorrow” (Larocque Masonry & Donna Larocque’s Sign Shoppe). The Children’s Choice Award was “Visions of Sugar Plums” (North Frontenac Telephone Company).

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 the Township of Central Frontenac. .

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: Woodwark Legal Services; Sharbot Lake Marina; Sharbot Lake Medical Centre; Sharbot Lake Dental Office; Sharbot Lake Lawn Service; Robinson’s Excavating & Trucking; Donna’s Sign Shoppe; Rebekahs Society; Home Hardware; Gray’s Grocery; RTR Tree Service; Angelo DiCintio; Mike Dean’s Super Foods; Tarasick Carpentry, Sydenham Veterinary Services; Leonard Fuels; Goodfellows Funeral Home; and Ken Young.

Thank you to all the volunteers who made this year another success.

Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:37

The Festival of Trees 2014

For close to 15 years now, the Festival of Trees has sparked off the holiday season in Central Frontenac as well as raising funds for two important organizations. Once again, hats off to the members of Villages Beautiful, their dedicated crew of community volunteers and the countless generous donors whose efforts once again magically transformed Oso hall in Sharbot Lake into a festive wonderland of holiday sights and sounds. Admission is a donation to the food bank and from Dec. 11 - 13, hundreds of visitors of all ages attended this year's festival, whose theme was the "Traditions of Christmas".

The beauty of the Festival of Trees is its ability to engage so many people from the local community -from those who either help run and organize it, to those who donate and /or perform at it, and finally to those who wouldn't miss it for the world, and who come every year to enjoy it.

The festival is the main fundraiser for Villages Beautiful, and the proceeds are used to spiffy up our villages and hamlets with fresh plants, shrubs, trees and flowers in the spring.

What is truly amazing about the festival is the great lengths that donors will go to to make their entries not only memorable but much sought after. On the day before the festival's opening, many donors cram into Oso Hall to decorate their trees, assemble their gift baskets and hang their wreaths, artworks and gingerbread creations and other theme-related offerings.

This year's entries were as usual, top notch and very creative, and the stellar line up of talented singers and musicians brought the hall to life over the duration of the festival. Congratulations to all of the winners and here are a few pictures highlighting some of the special memories from this years Festival of Trees.

Thursday, 03 April 2014 16:11

Apologies From Villages Beautiful

A spokesman for the Villages Beautiful committee today revealed that our extended winter was due, at least in part, to the fact that winter decorations had not been removed from the Sharbot Lake causeway in a timely fashion. A recent study by Horticulture Canada has shown that ornamental evergreen left on display tends to delay the advent of spring. This can be extremely severe if the evergreen is enhanced by Christmas ornamentation and is allowed to go completely brown.

On Monday morning, a public spirited individual, Mr. Garnet England, played a leading role in correcting the situation. The browned out planters were removed and put into compost. On returning from photographing the activity, this reporter noted the first robin of the season at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Road 38. Mr. England confessed to a personal motive for the activity. Sap started running in earnest within hours of the planters being taken down.


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