Today the work has begun to ensure that the Saco Museum, (and to a lesser extent) the Dyer Library, are decked out in their holiday finery. Are you planning to come by to take a look? If you haven’t made time in your busy schedule for this, you should! This is the 15th annual Festival of Trees and a large group of volunteers and staff have labored for 11 months to create a feast for the eyes and the spirit.

The Festival begins outside, with both buildings lit up with strings of colored lights and adorned with huge wreaths. In the library you’ll find over 1,000 children’s drawings taped to the walls, row upon row. Each child was tasked with making an interesting piece of art from a simple line drawing of a Christmas ornament. It’s hard to imagine the fabulous ways they interpreted that concept. Although it would be possible to spend at least an hour studying their wonderful art, you should move on to the Saco Museum.

As you enter, the foyer is awash in color and the front exhibit room is glowing with candlelit. Moving toward the back of the building the excitement builds. First there’s the Dennett Gallery: four-foot trees and wreaths surround an enormous 10-foot tree, all of them decorated in amazingly different (but lovely) ways. The hallway features yummy looking handcrafted gingerbread houses on one side and a huge, lit holiday village on the other.

And finally, there’s the big rear gallery, with a couple of dozen seven- and four-foot trees (and one more 10-foot tree) sparkling: rainbows, and ostrich feathers, glitzy bows and simple seedpods and berries. One tree is creatively entitled, “We Want to Woof You a Meowy Christmas” — and will surely feature lots of pet –related decorations. Another features crocheted angels and other handmade ornaments. Yet another is decked out as a Spanish Senorita! The variety is almost unimaginable.

The Festival is also accompanied by special programs. The first event is the “Preview Gala,” on Saturday evening, Nov. 23 from 6-9 p.m. That’s the only event for which we charge, just $20 per person, in advance or at the door, for an evening of excellent food and drink and live music amidst the splendor of the Festival decorations. We’re offering drop-in Children’s Crafts Day on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the library. On Saturday, Dec. 14, Mrs. Claus will be hosting her always-popular Tea for young children, with seatings at noon and 1:30 p.m. (Please call to make a reservation for that at 207-283-3861. ext. 102). It’s followed by visits with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 15 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the Saco Museum. Finally, Thursday, Dec. 19 is the last day to purchase raffle tickets in hopes of taking home one (or more) fabulous prizes, like restaurant gift certificates, handcrafted items and other magnificent things you can’t possible live without! It’s also the last opportunity to bid on the many trees, wreaths, etc. that you can take home with you.

Please come by to enjoy this free community holiday event. It’s a gift from our wonderful volunteers to you! Merry Christmas.

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