2017-11-23 / Editorial

Festival festivities are in the works

Library Links

For the 13th year in a row, Saco Museum and Dyer Library are lavishly decked out to celebrate the coming holiday season. “Winter Celebrations” is the theme for the 2017 Festival of Trees. The festival is not just a joyous (free) reminder of the season but an important fundraiser for the library and museum.

One of the best parts of the festival is the lovely effect it has on our visitors – not just the children who are awestruck by the wonderful scenes it presents, but older guests, as well. Even though I’ve seen our tireless volunteers pull it together, and have witnessed the immense amount of creativity, planning and sheer hard work that has gone into it, I, too, feel the magic when I see for the first time the wondrous display they’ve crafted.

In the front foyer, one of our deep window alcoves frames a sparkly Christmas tree and the other is host to a tree that could stand in for a ballerina (if ballerinas just happened to have stiff, green branches). The front gallery is decked out for a Christmastime wedding, and one of the trees in there is – quite extraordinarily – the “bride.” While I know that sounds a bit … strange, wait till you see it. It’s fabulous. The arches of the hallway sparkle with Christmas lights, garlands and bright ribbons, setting the stage for the many trees and wreaths that follow. Down the festive hallway, past the glittering four-foot trees, clusters of yummy gingerbread homes and a remarkable display of a New England village in miniature, visitors catch their first glimpse of the rear gallery: a 10-foot tall tree in woodland splendor, 19 sevenfoot trees and numerous smaller ones as well as countless wreaths. Each tree has a different theme, each one decorated by volunteers, nearly all of them sponsored by members of our community.

And then there’s the raffle. So many local businesses have donated gift certificates, gift baskets and restaurant meals, all of them available for raffle, with the tickets going on sale on Friday evening (three for $5), Nov. 24 at noon when we light the lights and throw the doors open for your enjoyment.

Finally, there are the events: Children’s Crafts Day, a free drop-in crafting opportunity 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at the library; Tea with Mrs. Claus with seatings at noon and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, which is free but reservations are required (283-3861, ext. 102); Ribbons and Bows (we’ll custom make them for you) is noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, reservations are required (283-3861, ext. 115); Visit With Santa, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10; Gift Wrapping Day, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 (buy your gifts here or bring no more than three to be wrapped); and the drawing of the raffle prizes, Dec. 15, but you don’t need to be here to win, of course. Finally, the winners of the Drawing Contest will gather to receive their prizes and enjoy their fame at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19. I know you will want to mark your calendars and not miss anything.

Leslie Rounds is executive director of Dyer Library/Saco Museum.

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