The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023

Festival of Trees winners announced

VW independent staff/submitted information

PAULDING – The John Paulding Historical Society has named the winners of its recent Festival of Trees and the dates and theme for next year’s event.

More than 1,500 people attended the Festival of Trees, which ran from November 3-11.

The Paulding County Carnegie Library won the prize for the tree most closely following the theme, “A Story Book Christmas.” Their tree was decorated with a collection of classic Golden Books for children.

Kristy Bidlack’s Elf Tree won a prize at the John Paulding Historical Society’s Festival of Trees. She created the display in memory of Connie Luckeydoo, using her late friend’s collection of more than 150 elves. Photo submitted

The trees that won for most “votes” for favorite tree by placing money in the jars were the Latty Friends & Neighbors in the adult category, and Paulding FFA in the youth category.

This year, a group of judges selected their favorite trees. First place was Kristy Bidlack’s Elf Tree in Barn 1. Eileen Kochensparger’s Moose-themed room and tree placed second, and Paulding Progress placed third.

Winner of the annual Weidenhamer/Borkosky OSU Raffle was Paulette Beckman.

Ryleigh McGarvey from Payne Elementary School won first place in the second annual sixth grade essay contest, “What Christmas Means to Me.” School winners were Lylah Schlueter, Paulding Elementary; Ross Carter, Divine Mercy School; Jocelyn Mabis, Grover Hill Elementary; and Adalynn Ordway, Oakwood Elementary.

Many highlight photos and videos have been posted on the museum’s Facebook page.

The event was big success this year, thanks to the tree decorators, silent auction donors and bidders, meal sponsors, entertainers, visitors, and the many volunteers who decorated the museum’s three buildings It is the historical society’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Festival sponsors this year were R&K Brady Corp., MTJ Farms, Reuben Smith American Legion Post, Antwerp Exchange Bank, Haviland Drainage, Roberts Manufacturing, Pete Schlegel, Norman and Myrna Cook, Linda Troyer and Karen Cooper.

The Festival of Trees committee has chosen dates and a theme for 2024. Next year’s event will be November 8-16 with the theme “Let’s Trim the Tree.” The historical society welcomes anyone interested in decorating a tree, helping to decorate the buildings, sponsoring a meal or providing musical entertainment.

The next public event is a general meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, November 28, with guest Carol Razo, who will discuss plans for Crane Township’s bicentennial in 2025.

The museum will be open Tuesdays through December 12, then will close for two months for a winter break. The museum will reopen to the public Tuesday, February 20.

POSTED: 11/20/23 at 10:26 pm. FILED UNDER: News