Mount Union’s annual Festival of Wreaths & Trees is going virtual this year to let the community enjoy the decades-long tradition at a safe distance.
The festival, which marked its 25th anniversary last year, was coordinated by art teachers Norm and Cathy Wilson for the first 24 years. Sisters Leslie and Chris Armagost picked up the baton for the event’s silver anniversary.
“The Festival of Wreaths & Trees has brought creative enjoyment and Christmas cheer to Mount Union and surrounding areas for a quarter of a century,” Leslie Armagost said. “It’s gone through a lot of changes in that time, both in content and in coordinators (and in name), but it’s always been an event to which the community can look forward.”
This year, Leslie and Chris ask participants to submit photos of their trees and wreaths so the festival can move online from its usual location at the Mount Union Presbyterian Church.
“This year, we thought it best to keep everyone a little more safe and hold the event online — because creative enjoyment and Christmas cheer don’t have to stop when we’re not together in person,” Leslie said.
The festival features three categories: wreaths, youth trees (up to age 16) and adult trees (16 ages and up).
“We do have a non-competing category should anyone only want to display their work, too,” Leslie said.
The wreaths and trees may be any size or style and, because the festival is online this year, real trees are allowed. Also, because of the online format, lights can be either battery-powered or plug-in.
The festival encourages handmade ornaments but purchased ornaments may be used to help carry out a theme. Mention if you’re using antique ornaments.
The rest of the community can all join in the fun when voting commences at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18. Voting will conclude at 8 p.m. Saturday and winners will be announced at noon Sunday.
“It’s been a difficult year for many, and we felt that it was important to keep the festival going, so that as many people as possible can have a little more joy,” Leslie said. “Hopefully next year we’ll be able to hold the festival in person again — as well as online for anyone who can’t visit.”