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Gallery of Trees opens Saturday

November 29, 2018

As you enter the Kankakee County Museum you’ll now be greeted by a tall tree, decorated by the museum, adorned in gold and burgundy ribbons and ornaments, featuring black and white photos of the past four decades of their Gallery of Trees event.

“We are celebrating 40 years of this beloved local tradition,” said Hannah Swale, marketing and communications coordinator for the Kankakee County Museum. “People can expect to see organizations celebrating their histories and glimpses into our community’s past. The Museum is filled to the brim with trees this year, and it’s an absolute winter wonderland.”

Forty years ago, Gallery of Trees started as a fundraiser, and it’s remained the museum’s largest fundraiser year after year.

Thirty-four decorated Christmas trees will adorn the gallery at the Kankakee County Museum, which is at 801 S. Eighth Ave. in Kankakee.

The Kankakee Kultivators Garden Club presented a Grinch-like, all-green tree, to represent their love for all things in the garden. The Kankakee Public Library’s tree was decorated with card ornaments reminding all of this past year’s events.

Community Arts Council’s tree, decorated all in red, showcased ornaments for their annual Jazz Fest.

The Community Arts Council promotes, develops and coordinates efforts among the nonprofit organizations involved in furthering the arts in the Kankakee area, stimulates interest and participation within the community in the arts.

Kankakee Valley Theatre Association is a not-for-profit community theater that operates in the Kankakee area. Its tree was decorated with the traditional red, green and gold colors, but cards were left at the bottom of the tree to remind the public of their next spring show, “Sister Act.”

KVTA is comprised of two groups — the Young Peoples Theatre, which presents productions with youth ages 6 through 16 as the actors, and Kankakee Valley Theatre, open to any actors age 7 and older.

The tree for the Zonta Club of Kankakee, featured flags for different countries, leaning towards the international side of the organization.

Zonta Club of Kankakee County, a member of Zonta International, has served to empower women by improving the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status for 30 years in Kankakee County. The larger international organization was founded about 100 years ago.

Another tree decorated by the museum was placed in the center of the George Grey Barnard exhibit, dedicated to 40 years of volunteer service at the museum.

Adults and children get to vote for their favorite decorated tree, and the tree in first place will win $100, second place will be awarded with $50 and third place will be awarded with $25.

The suggested donation price is $2.

During the month of December while Gallery of Trees is taking place, visitors will still be able to tour the outbuildings, one-room school house and the Dr. Small home.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, with the exception of Dec. 24 and 25 when it will be closed.

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