The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

JPHS to showcase popular Festival of Trees

VW independent staff/submitted information

PAULDING – “Let Heaven & Nature Sing” is the theme for this year’s Festival of Trees at John Paulding Historical Society in Paulding. The dates will be Friday, November 4 through Saturday, November 12. Admission and parking are free. Donations are greatly appreciated.

The festival will be open daily throughout the entire nine days. Explore nearly 25,000 square feet of holiday trees and decorations in three buildings. Meals and special activities are planned for almost every day. All meals are by free-will donation.

Paulding FFA Chapter’s tree is one of many trees that individuals, groups and businesses have decorated for this year’s Festival of Trees, November 4-12 at John Paulding Historical Society in Paulding. Photo submitted

The festival committee has been hard at work planning and preparing for the museum’s largest event and fundraiser of the year. The trees and decorations came out of storage in mid-September, thanks to Paulding FFA students and museum volunteers. It takes six weeks to get everything ready to open the doors to around 1,000 visitors.

The festival begins with a Christmas Tea on Thursday, November 3, with a preview of the museum buildings filled with trees and holiday spirit. Tickets for this popular event are already sold out.

Friday, November 4, will be the official festival opening. Hours will be 4-8 p.m. The Paulding County Senior Center will be sponsoring the meal from 5-7 p.m. and the Divine Mercy Choir will perform from 6-7 p.m.

Saturday, November 5, is Kids’ Day. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Visit with Woody the Talking Tree and Santa Claus from 10 a.m.-noon. Magician Tim Mabis will performs from 12-2 p.m. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., St. Paul Lutheran Church will serve a lunch featuring walking tacos and hot dogs. For supper, a baked potato bar will be open from 4-6 p.m. Live music in the evening will be provided by pianist Nancy Whitaker.

Sunday, November 6, kicks off with a brunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The Divine Mercy Children’s Choir will sing from 1-1:30 p.m. The St. Paul Lutheran Bell Choir will perform at 2 p.m. with singing to follow. The festival will be open until 4 p.m.

Monday, November 7, hours will be 4-8 p.m.

Tuesday, November 8, is Senior Day. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Seniors from local nursing homes have been invited to lunch and a special senior craft event will begin at 1 p.m. with gourd painting and decorating. There is no cost, but reservations are requested. The 5:30 p.m. craft night with Lori Sponseller is already full with no more seats available.

Wednesday, November 9, the museum will be open 4-8 p.m. From 5:30-7:30 p.m., join Sue Knapp for canvas painting for a free-will donation. No reservations are needed.

Thursday, November 10, hours will be 4-8 p.m.

Friday, November 11, will be a special “Night of Lights” from 4-8 p.m. Overhead lights will be turned off. Stroll through the holiday decor illuminated only by lanterns and Christmas lights. Enjoy the Heavenly Dessert Bar from 5-7 p.m. plus holiday karaoke and singing.

Saturday, November 12, is the final day of the festival. Hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The men of the historical society will be grilling a special tailgate lunch with hamburgers and hot dogs from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The winners of the sixth grade Christmas essay contest will read their entries at 12:30 p.m. This will be the last chance to bid on the silent auction or enter the annual OSU raffle. At 2 p.m., auction bids close and the raffle winner will be drawn.

Several events will be held each day.

The ever-popular OSU Raffle sponsored by the Weidenhamer/Borkosky families is a chance to win a new collection of Ohio State University merchandise and memorabilia. Raffle tickets may be purchased throughout the festival.

Another continuing feature is the Memory Tree. Remember loved ones by adding their names to the tree, located near the dining room.

Those attending will be able to lace a bid one on of the items in the silent auction. Last year, 80 items went to the highest bidders. This year, some of the offerings include gift baskets, framed artwork, toys, a new Harley Davidson flannel shirt and cap, handcrafted wreaths and a new Coach purse.

Visitors will have the chance to vote for their favorite tree. Look for the jar under each tree and “vote” with coins, dollars or even checks. The tree that collects the most money wins a prize. A prize will be awarded for the tree that best follows this year’s theme.

Children can take part in the fun Mouse Hunt. Two different photo booth locations will be available for taking for family photos. Browse the Country Store for some unique gift ideas.

Those who attend the festival will have the opportunity to sign 1,000 Christmas cards for U.S. servicemen and women. The cards will be located in the dining room. After the festival, the cards will be boxed up and mailed to a distribution point, with Paulding VFW paying for postage. Look for the many military and patriotic themed trees on display at the museum.

Festival of Trees Committee members are chairman Elizabeth Miller, Eileen Kochensparger, Jane Stouffer, Joyce Nichols, Jean Schooley, Mary Friend, Sue Weible, Shannon Ruschel, Gene Olwin, Bonnie Pier and Melinda Krick.

Watch for more details and updates on the museum’s Facebook page.

POSTED: 10/28/22 at 11:39 pm. FILED UNDER: News