Festival of Trees returns to add merriment to holidays | CraigDailyPress.com

Festival of Trees returns to add merriment to holidays

Patrick Kelly

Siblings Audrey, 5, and Carson Laehr, 8, marvel at the entries at last year's Festival of Trees in the Moffat County Courthouse. Pictured are entries sponsored by businesses and nonprofit organizations themed after Christmas songs, including, from left, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" by Friends of the Moffat County Libraries; "One Small Child" by Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center; and "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" by T & H Napa Auto Parts.

It won't be long before Moffat County Courthouse decks its halls in celebration of the holiday season.

The fourth annual Festival of Trees hosted by Moffat County Youth United Way and Moffat County High School Key Club begins on Nov. 30 and will fill the second floor of the courthouse with festively decorated Christmas trees.

Corrie Ponikvar, Festival of Trees Committee chair, said the event originated as a way for local nonprofits like United Way to thank the community for its support.

"It gives us an event that the community can enjoy free of charge and gives us the opportunity to thank them for supporting us," she said.

Any nonprofit organization, local business or individual is welcome to purchase a tree and decorate it in accordance with the "Winter Wonderland" theme. A tree costs $10 for nonprofits and $25 for business and individuals.

Ponikvar said as of Friday afternoon 37 trees had been reserved but there is still time for people to sign up and she hopes to see at least 40 trees.

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Visitors to the holiday display will have a chance to vote on their favorite decorations and a people's choice winner will be announced on Dec. 17.

Winning nonprofits are eligible for prize money with the prize for top tree coming in at $600, provided by the Human Resource Council.

Joe Bird said he has worked with festival organizers in his capacity as a Craig City Councilor but his involvement in the event feels more personal.

"In an official way you could say that I'm a city representative but I'll be honest with you… I'm having more fun participating in that just for what it does for the spirit of the community," he said.

The decorative displays will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Nov. 30 and ending Jan. 8.

Throughout the festival, hosts will offer special activities like hayrides, hot cocoa, music and visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Days with special activities are Dec. 10, 12 and 17.

Ponikvar said she was very thankful for all of the nonprofits that have entered trees into the event in the past few years and encourages everyone to come check out the decorations.

"Without them we wouldn't have an event," she said.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.