Festival of Trees in Antrim reinvents the Christmas tree

By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
November 26. 2017 11:19PM

Life's a Zoo Christmas tree is on display at James A. Tuttle Library in Antrim through the beginning of January during the 8th annual Festival of Trees. (Meghan Pierce/Union Leader Correspondent)

ANTRIM — Nearly 1,000 people stopped by the James A. Tuttle Library for the opening of the eighth annual Festival of Trees on Saturday, organizers said.

“It’s gotten big,” said one of the festival’s founders, Connie Vandervort.

The festival — hopping with people and Christmas cheer on Saturday — actually has its roots in hard times for the small town, Vandervort said.

“The first one was during the recession and things were very, very depressed and people were really down,” she said. “So we thought, ‘OK what can we do so that people can go somewhere and do something so people can have a Christmas memory that won’t cost them anything.’”

Within two weeks, organizers had 30 trees.

“It started as a collaboration between the Historical Society and The Friends of the Library and it became its own thing the second year. The library hosts it and the Historical Society supports it,” Vandervort said.

The number of trees and displays keeps growing each year, she said.

“I know from registrations it’s probably over 150,” Vandervort said. “That’s up this year. Actually since we’ve started it’s gone up each year. We get trees from the entire Monadnock area.”

The library expects to see nearly 3,000 people for the Festival of Trees.

“We’ve had people come into the show and sign our guest book from Washington state, Florida, even Canada,” Vandervort said.

She praised those who decorate the trees for the festival.

“I think they are all amazing and they are all a little bit of somebody’s holiday that they are sharing with somebody else,” she said.

Antrim’s 8th annual Festival of Trees runs through Jan. 2 at the library. The festival’s gala is Saturday, Dec. 9, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Solstice Soiree will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m.

mpierce@newstote.com


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