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Festival of Trees returns next week

November 9, 2018

The Little Black Dress, Baby It’s Cold Outside and Kissing Fish Tree are just some of the themes making an appearance during this year’s Festival of Trees.

The Columbus Women’s Club 39th annual Festival of Trees will be held Nov. 15-18 at the Columbus Art Gallery, 2504 14th St. The hours are noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday, noon to 4:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

“The Festival of Trees is the beginning of Christmas in Columbus,” club president Judy Trautwein said. “When you see all of those Christmas trees in the art gallery, you really get inspired to decorate your own tree.”

Adult tickets are $5 before and $6 at the door. Kids ages 6-12 are $3 and those under 5 are free. Tickets are available for purchase at the Columbus Art Gallery, Tooley Drug, Art Editions Framing & Gallery or from any Columbus Women’s Club member.

Phyllis Wragge, one of the event’s co-chairs, said there will be 13 trees at the festival decorated by people in the community, such as Kenneth Hash of Space Walk Inflatables, Fat Quarters Evening Quilt Guild, Laurie Cech of Columbus Care and Rehabilitation Center, Next Generation Kiwanis and Amy Cooney of Bliss Photography.

Each year, Wragge said about half of the exhibitors are veterans and the other half are first-timers. All the trees on display at the festival will each have a unique theme, such as Totally 80’s Neon by Kimberly Henggeler and Amanda Masek.

The event also features a sweet shop where people can buy baked goodies. Free coffee and cookies will be served on the second floor of the auditorium to all those who attend.

“It really puts you in the mood for Christmas,” Wraggle said about the festival.

Event organizer Deb Hamling said they average about 600 attendees each year. The festival is a major fundraiser for the nonprofit, which this year is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Last year, the club donated about $5,600 to local causes in the community. Trautwein said it contributes to the fine arts departments at all three of Columbus’ high schools and to the Royal Family Kids Camp.

The event will also feature a raffle. Prizes include four movie tickets to CEC Theatres, a $25 gift certificate to the Husker Steak House and a Christmas bouquet from Accent Floral and Galleria.

“If you have an hour or two and just want to relax, it’s a fun afternoon,” Wragge said.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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