It hardly seems possible to me, but Christmas is just around the corner, and once again, we are hosting a Festival of Trees to remember. This year’s theme is “A Little Holiday Music.” It’s our 175h year, believe it or not! Most of you are familiar with this holiday event: You enter the Saco Museum expectantly. On one side an array of trees, decked out with sparkling decorations, dazzles the eyes. On the other side, unique holiday gifts beckon to you (and your wallet) into our gift shop. Further back in the museum are collections of wreaths, child-crafted gingerbread at its best, and an amazing collection of four and seven foot trees, awash in glittering color. In this second winter of Covid, I think a little holiday cheer will be especially welcome, don’t you?

The Festival of Trees is really a series of events, a holiday staple in the Saco/Biddeford area, dependent on two critical things coming together perfectly. One of these is participation from volunteers. Although our staff is actively, fully involved, there are so many aspects of the Festival that we can’t begin to make it work without hundreds of hours of volunteer assistance. After so many years of very enthusiastic work, many of our volunteers have retired, moved away, or become otherwise unavailable and we are always in serious of need of some holiday-minded people to help. We’d love for you to join our family of helpers!

The second key component, the one that makes this such a significant fundraiser for the nonprofit library and museum, is the participation of sponsors. Many businesses throughout the area, (and quite a few just plain people,) sponsor trees, wreaths and events during the Festival. When you visit you’ll see the names of all those sponsors and realize how many local people generously take a part in the holiday celebration.

Then there are the events: Children’s Crafts Day, Saturday, Dec. 4, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Dyer Library, an opportunity for children to create lots of marvelous items, free of course. Tea With Mrs. Claus is on Saturday, Dec. 11, two seatings, the first at noon and another at 1:30 p.m. Call (207 )283-3861, ext. 102 to reserve a spot at the Dyer Library. Visit With Santa on Sunday, Dec. 12, 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the Saco Museum. With numerous fabulous items up for raffle (including tickets to the Boston Bruins and lift tickets for Sunday River), you’ll want to be sure to come in and take a chance; three tickets are just $5 and raffle winners will be drawn on Thursday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. (but you don’t need to be present to win.)

We offer extended hours for the Festival of Trees: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday: noon to 5 p.m. Friday: noon to 8 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are closed Mondays and Dec. 24 and 25. Admission is free throughout the Festival of Trees, the last day of which is Dec. 29, thanks to the generous sponsorship of local businesses and individuals. So come and make your holidays happy. We look forward to seeing you!

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