The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Festival of Trees in Paulding in November

Van Wert independent staff and submitted information

PAULDING — “All Aboard the JPHS Christmas Train” is the theme for this year’s John Paulding Historical Society’s Festival of Trees, which begins Friday, November 5.

“The festival is our largest fundraiser for the museum,” event Chairman Eileen Kochensparger said. “With COVID ceasing all activities last year, it is hoped that with your help we can make this the most successful festival since its beginning back in the 1980s.”

Volunteers have been busy decorating the museum’s three buildings and members of the Paulding County Genealogical Society put finishing touches on their tree for the theme All Aboard the JPHS Christmas Train. Photo submitted

The museum, located across from the fairgrounds in Paulding, will be open for limited hours every day from November 5-13. All three buildings are brimming with holiday decorations of all kinds. Admission is free.

The Festival of Trees features dozens of Christmas trees decorated by individuals, groups and businesses. In addition, many special new events are planned this year. Several meals also are scheduled in the “Dining Car.” All meals are available for a free-will donation.

Shannon Wythe Ruschel is director of the Christmas tea and Polar Express Extravaganza.

Here is the Festival of Trees schedule:

Thursday, November 4, is a new event: a Christmas tea, starting at 6:30 p.m. All tables are sponsored and tickets are sold out. Britni Dooley will be the speaker. Following the tea, guests will be invited to view the many wreaths donated for the Festival of Wreaths online auction through Facebook. Rhonda Bakle is again organizing the Festival of Wreaths, launched last year. The first auction raised $3,105 for JPHS.

Friday, November 5, is the official opening, from 5-8 p.m. The Paulding County Senior Center will be sponsoring the meal that evening from 5-7 p.m.

Saturday, November 6, hours will be 10 a.m.-8 p.m. for children of all ages, and the movie Polar Express will be shown at 10:30 a.m. A kid-friendly lunch will be served by the St. Paul Lutheran Church from 12-1:30 p.m. There will be train exhibits and a soup supper will be offered from 4:30-6:30 p.m. by the museum volunteers.

Sunday, November 7, hours will be from noon-4 p.m.

Monday, November 8, hours will be 5-8 p.m.

Tuesday, November 9, the museum buildings will be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. One highlight will begin at 6 p.m. when Lori Sponseller brings her creativity to the museum to help guests make one or more Christmas ornaments. The cost for this workshop is $7 per item. For a reservation, call the museum at 419.399.8218.

Wednesday, November 10, hours will be 5-8 p.m. At 6 p.m. Susie Knapp will help guests paint a Christmas-theme picture in a fun event. The cost to participate is by donation and reservations are requested by calling the museum.

Thursday, November 11, hours will be 5-8 p.m.

Friday, November 12, festival hours will be 5-8 p.m. Experience this “Engineer’s Special” evening with a unique candlelight stroll through the buildings, which will be lit only with Christmas lights and candles. Light refreshments will be served.

Saturday, November 13, is the final day of the festival. The museum will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The day kicks off with a showing of the beloved movie “Polar Express,” followed by a live nativity by the Middle Creek Church Youth from noon-2 p.m. in Barn Two. Elroy the donkey and his family will be portraying the holy family. A kid-friendly lunch will be served from 12-1:30 p.m.

Some events will be ongoing throughout the festival, including the silent auction of donated items. The museum is still accepting items. Contact the museum or text 419.769.3993 for more information.

Tickets will be on sale for the popular OSU raffle, sponsored by the Weidenhamer and Borkosky families.

An important part of the festival is the Memory Tree. This large tree, in the main building, is a way to honor or remember loved ones.

Woody the Talking Tree will come in from the woods once again for the delight of the little ones.The museum mice will be hiding in and around the trees for the children to find.

Look for a couple of special “photo op” spots around the museum, including a North Pole directional sign. These Instagram-worthy sites will be perfect for taking photos of children, grandchildren, or the whole family.

Before leaving the museum, don’t forget to cast a vote for your favorite decorated tree. Look for the jar under each tree and deposit coin, dollars – even checks. The tree that collects the most money wins a prize. A prize is also awarded for the tree that best follows this year’s theme.

The Festival of Wreaths will feature online bidding and voting only. Look for “Paulding Ohio Festival of Wreaths” on Facebook. The wreaths will be displayed in Barn One during the Festival of Trees. Bids will start at $20 and any bid must be $2.50 or higher.

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POSTED: 10/25/21 at 3:43 am. FILED UNDER: News