PAULDING — Come out and enjoy where “the shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye” with a “Rocky Mountain High” at the John Paulding Historical Society’s Festival of Trees.
The annual festival will be a weeklong this year and feature several new events and activities. The festival will be Nov. 15-23 at the museum on Fairground Drive in Paulding. It is the biggest fundraiser for the museum with admission being a freewill offering.
Eileen Kochensparger, one of the event organizers, said there will be something for everyone each day of the festival.
One of the new features will be an art display with work from students at Antwerp and Grover Hill schools. The artwork will be on display in barn one’s new expansion. Other new events include a candlelight stroll, Paulding County authors night, Christmas crafts and more.
Throughout the week will be the silent auction. Participants can place bids on several items including: a ton of driveway stone, Bluetooth speakers, a gift box from Cooper Farms, end table, gift certificates from places such as the Bittersweet Inn and Auglaize Canoe & Kayak, solar lights, holiday baskets and more.
There also will be bidding for an OSU quilt. The quilt includes the names of all the OSU coaches on it. The starting bid is $300. There also is a OSU raffle basket. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5.
As visitors come out to the museum during the week, they will be greeted with more than 50 decorated trees and holiday displays. Visitors may vote for their favorite trees.
Under each tree will be a voters’ jar where individuals may place money to vote for their favorite tree(s). At the end of the festival, the trees (one decorated by adults and one by children) with the most votes will be named the winners. The money collected will be split, with half going to the organization/individuals who decorated the winning trees and the other half going to the museum.
A People’s Choice Award also will be given out for trees.
“The People’s Choice Award is for who decorated their tree closest to the theme, which is based on a John Denver song (“Rocky Mountain High”),” said Kochensparger.
The museum committee will decide the winners of the People’s Choice Award. The first-place prize is $40 and second place will receive $20. The award is open to tree decorators of all ages.
The memory tree will return this year, but with a twist.
“The memory tree will be a live tree this year,” Kochensparger said.
Individuals may purchase a card for $1 and write the name of a family member of friend to remember on it. The card will then be placed on the tree for the rest of the week.
The festival will open Nov. 14 from 4-8 p.m. There will be a chili supper, provided by Jean Schooley and the museum volunteers, at 5 p.m. and performance by the Oakwood Community Band at 6:30 p.m. Food during the festival also is available for a freewill donation.
On Nov. 16, the festival will be open from 10 a.m-8 p.m. At 11 a.m., there will be soup and sandwiches served by the St. Paul Lutheran women. Bargain Bin volunteers will serve a baked potato bar at 5 p.m.
The festival will be open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 17 with brunch by Linda Troyer and the museum volunteers at 11 a.m.
On Nov. 18, individuals visit the festival from 5-8 p.m.
There will be a new woodworking event at the festival on Nov. 19. The festival will be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. that day, with the display open from 1-4 p.m. Lunch will be by Joyce Nichols and the museum volunteers at 11 a.m.
Kochensparger said the woodworking display will include a show of items by John McGrath and W. David Brown. It’s also senior day at the festival.
On Nov. 20, the festival will be open from 5-8 p.m. At 5 p.m., there will be a Christmas craft with Lori Sponseller. Individuals need to make a reservation for the craft by calling the historical society at 419-399-8218 or email JPHS45872@yahoo.com. The cost is $7.
Sponseller will demonstrate how to make a craft that will go on participants’ trees at home.
The Paulding County author night will be Nov. 21. The festival will be open from 5-8 p.m. At 6 p.m., authors will give an overview of their books and be available to autograph their works. Books will be available for purchase. Following the authors’ program, there will be refreshments.
Kochensparger said the Bargain Bin is co-hosting the author night with the museum.
On Nov. 22, the festival will be open from 5-8 p.m. During the night, there will be a candlelight stroll and a dessert bar starting at 5 p.m.
The last day of the festival is Nov. 23, which is kids’ day. The festival will be open from 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
“There will be a mouse hunt all day, Santa will be on site from 9-11 p.m. and there will be a petting zoo from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.,” Kochensparger said. “The zoo will have a family of donkeys that have crosses on them and other animals.”
Woody the Talking Tree will be there to entertain the children. Braun’s Ambulance will be on display from 1-4 p.m. There also will be a bake sale from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. by the museum’s junior historians.
“The festival will close at 8 p.m. that night,” Kochensparger said. The winners of the silent auction and raffles will be notified closing day so they can enjoy their winnings for the holidays.