By CATHERINE ELLERTON
Moapa Valley Progress
Visitors were greeted with lights, laughter, the sounds of music, cheers and the familiar HO!! HO! HO! of that jolly old man as they entered the Old Logandale School last weekend. In an instantly, they knew that the Festival of Trees was, once again, underway. This joyous occasion was held for its tenth year on Nov. 22-23.
This historic building was a school in the ‘good ole days’ and has been lovingly restored to provide a home for pre-school classes, dance classes, meeting rooms, historical museum, a library and auditorium for concerts, weddings, parties and other joyful events. But it was now decked out in holiday cheer to raise money to keep the historic building as a center for community activities throughout the coming year.
Every room and hallway was filled with vendors, items for silent auction and a stage for entertainers. More than 20 trees lined the walls of the auditorium. They were a magnificent sight and all provided by local organizations, businesses or individuals that has donated them to the cause.
From the red, white and blue patriotic tree of Perkins Elementary, to the white tree covered with white poinsettias by Rhonda Pulsipher, to the tree filled with dolls ‘Child’s Delight’ by Maggie Genseal, to the blue tree of the Cinderella Scholarship Program, to the tree decorated with large sized ornaments titled ‘King of Kings’ by Angie Wallace and Megan Canfield; each tree held a wonder of its own and captured an audience delighted to find all the secrets within that tree.
In addition were many glorious wreaths adding to the bidding frenzy donated by Camille Leavitt, Jackie Worthen and Penny Vallone. On the item table waiting to receive a bid a a huge, amazing White Nativity, a Yoga Mat, Massage Works, many seasonal plates and statues and Christmas ornaments.
Down the hallway and in the various rooms were many different vendors. Some of these vhave been with the festival from the very beginning. Joanne Watson of ‘Crafts by Joanne’ is in her 6th year.
There was something for everyone from family crafts by Tamy Barrett, to Fancy Image (Hand dyed yarn) by Myra Garcia, to LulaRoe Clothing, to beauty products ‘Beauty By Brooke,’ to food (egg nog bread, fudge, jelly and cupcakes).
In addition to the vendors were several businesses represented. One was the Martial Arts Studio of Nick Yamashita. This is taught at the Sacred Space Wellness Center in Overton. He teaches classes for all age groups and hopes to offer a Self-Defense Class for Women.
In one of the classrooms were the Gingerbread House Contest entries. The winners were: Most Creative use of material – Stella England; Itty Bitty – Gunner; #1 Elementary Schooler – Oakley May; #1 Teen/Adult – Cyric Stevens and the Overall Champion was Macy Andrus. These winners were awarded $25 each donated by Dru Solomon of Moss Berg Injury Lawyers.
The entertainment area was busy for the two days. The MVHS Choir and Orchestra began the festivities. The Choir walked up the aisles to the stage singing and passing out candy canes. The orchestra followed with their well-played, inspirational music of the Season. Shay’s Dancing Stars and Dynamite Cheer Elite dazzled the audience in their sparkly costumes and energetic performances. They were followed by the Bowler Elementary Choir. The Talented Aikele’s finished the day.
But on to Saturday when the Muddy River Cloggers, CC Tumblers, Kountry Kickers, Studio B Dance Academy and James and Phina-violinists joined the schedule.
It was a two-day celebration that brought the community together.