LIMA — It is a Lima holiday tradition going back more than four decades, and at this year’s Christmas Tree Festival at the Allen County Museum, the traditions of the holiday season were commemorated with this year’s “Old Fashioned Christmas” theme.
This year’s festival features 95 trees decorated with a variety of items ranging from candles to homemade ornaments, each marking celebrations of yesteryear. Each tree was decorated by a variety of organizations, ranging from schools to day cares to churches or even Scout troops.
“Old-fashinoned can be different depending on how old you are,” museum Director Patricia Smith said. “For somebody that’s maybe a little younger, it may be the fun idea of watching the movie with the kid getting his tongue stuck on the pole. We always encourage people to be very creative, and that’s part of the fun.”
Along with the trees, the festival, running through Sunday, also features musical entertainment throughout the day, along with crafts and hands-on activities for young children in the discovery center. Children can also enjoy visiting with “Evergreen” the talking tree throughout the festival, along with readings of “The Polar Express” by the Shay locomotive at 6 and 7 p.m. Friday and 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Both the MacDonnell House and the log cabin next to the museum are also open, with period re-enactors speaking with visitors in the cabin and holding period cooking demonstrations.
“My favorite is the gingerbread,” Smith said.
In addition, various items are available for sale throughout the festival.
The festival will also host school and day care groups throughout the rest of the week, such as Help Me Grow. Kayla May had her daughter, Jocelyn, 2, with that group Wednesday, along with Rebecca Long, who was with her 20-month-old daughter, Lucy. Both were first-time visitors to the festival and were very impressed.
“There are some really neat trees here, things you don’t normally think of,” Long said.
“My daughter loves all the lights,” May said. “To her, they’re amazing.”
There is no cost to attend, but donations are encouraged. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For information on what to find at the festival, go to http://allencountymuseum.org.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.