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The community tree-lighting on Dec. 1 and the tree auction and Santa's arrival on Dec. 7 make up the schedule for the Elizabeth Festival of Trees.
“We put together this event to help bring in the holiday season,” said Shawn Strain, one of the event organizers and owner of Barnwood Vintage. “This is our first year and we hope it will become an annual community celebration.”
The festival begins Dec.1 with the lighting of the community tree located on Elizabeth's Main Street. Plans are for Mayor Clay Hurst and town council members to throw the switch to turn on the lights. Following the tree-lighting, those attending are invited to help decorate the tree.
There will be goodies available, carriage rides sponsored by New American Funding will be available, and the Legacy Academy Choir will be singing carols and the songs of the season.
There will also be an unveiling of the mural at the Elizabeth Police Department. Don Means, the Farmers Insurance agent in Elizabeth, is sponsoring the event.
Megan Vasquez, who works in the agency, said Farmers Insurance promotes a Behind the Badge event each year. Last year the Elizabeth agency presented the police department a banner signed by numerous members of the community. This year's Behind the Badge project in Elizabeth will be the mural.
“The Elizabeth Public Arts Committee worked with us on the mural project,” she said. “A company donated the materials and members of the committee created the mural.”
Strain said the second half of the festival will be held Dec. 7.
“There will be 20 decorated trees positioned along Main Street and the Dec. 7 activities include auctioning off the trees,” he said. “The 20 trees were purchased from Kiowa 4-H by individuals and businesses in Elizabeth. Each owner decorated one of the trees that were placed along Main Street.”
Strain said each of the 20 decorated trees positioned along Main Street will be on the auction block on Dec. 7. “The proceeds of the auction will go to charities designated by the auction winners,” he added.
The tree auction will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Hot beverages will be served on the patio, an event sponsored by the Pine and Plains Library. The Elizabeth Area Chamber of Commerce will also be on hand to help those who want to decorate cookies.
Strain said those who purchase the trees can take them home or donate them to the Elbert 4-H to be given to a family in need.
A celebration kicking off the holiday season wouldn't be complete without an appearance by Santa. On Dec. 7, photos with the jolly elf can be taken from 6 to 8 p.m. at Barnwood Vintage, 166 Main St.
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