| Dec 20, 2017

This past weekend, Oso Hall was decorated in the Christmas spirit for the 16th Festival of Trees, Villages Beautiful’s annual fundraiser (which actually began in 2000 but one year was missed in favour of a dance).

Not much has changed since the first one (except the number of entries). People donate decorated trees of all sizes, wreaths, wall hangings, Christmas baskets, gingerbread creations and other things (ie “anything goes”) and then visitors buy tickets which are deposited in boxes next to the tree they want to win. Then on Saturday, draws are made.

Since it’s been going on for 16 years, the committee pretty much has it figured out by now, and they have fun with it, said Sally Angle.

“It’s a typical female committee,” she said, jokingly. “We don’t have a boss.

“We get along as only women do.”

“Everybody knows their job,” said Linda West, who this year helped organize the judging committee. “We wear different hats each year.”

For West, the creativity on display has grown each year.

“It’s incredible,” she said. “People from businesses, individuals, groups . . . people get together on their lunch hours and put their heart and soul into it.

“Seems like every year there’s more and more creativity.”

This year, there was a ceremony for the lighting of the tree outside Oso Hall. The mayor was a little late getting there but otherwise it went off without a hitch.

Entertainment is also a big part of the festival this year featured performances from David Yerxa, Fiddlers & Friends, the Land O’Lakes County Cloggers, Barbara Agnew-Miller and students Mabel Saunders, Paige Kring and Tyler Kring, Dave and Margaret Taylor, The Merrigan Family and Adam Lake, Young Choristers, Frontenac Skies Bucket Drummers, the Blue Skies Fiddle Orchestra and the Tay Valley Choir.

The theme this year was A Canadian Christmas and the winners were:

Large trees: 1st — Canada Eh, by the Friday Night Ladies; 2nd — True North, by Township of Central Frontenac; 3rd — Made in Canada, W.A. Robinson Asset Management

Small trees: 1st — All Things Canadian, by North Frontenac Telephone Company; 2nd — Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, by CF Railway Heritage Society; 3rd — Frolicking in a Winter Wonderland, by Medical Centre Fitness Class

Mini trees (one entry) 1st — Let it Snow, by Parham United Church Sunday School

Anything Goes: 1st — Coast to Coast on the CPR, by George Allen; 2nd — Canada Reads . . . In a One-Horse Open Sleigh, by Lakeside Readers; 3rd — Branching out to Welcome You, by Linda Devries

Baskets: 1st — A Cozy Canadian Christmas, by Friends of Arden; 2nd — The Great Canadian Cookie Exchange by Frontenac Catalyst Leo Club; 3rd — Canadian Gourmet Christmas by Sharbot Lake 39’ers

Gingerbread: 1st — Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Canada, RFCS Youth Program/Day Care; 2nd — Wishing You a Merry Christmoose, by Northern Connections

Wreaths: 1st — A Wilderness Christmas by Arden Seniors; 2nd — Sleigh Ride Reflections, by Lake District Realty; 3rd — Country Christmas Symbols of Canada, by Community Living

Wall Hangings: 1st — Christmas Eve Aurora, by Arden Batik; 2nd — Christmas in the County, by Ron Veh; 3rd — Frosty Window, by Janet’s Clip-It.

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