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Hands On! opens Festival of Trees; tickets on sale for gala

Jennifer Sprouse • Nov 1, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Hands On! Regional Museum got an early start to its Christmas decorating Thursday afternoon, opening the doors to the 24th Annual Festival of Trees.

Using the theme of “There’s No Place Like HORM for the Holidays,” 30 designers have decorated trees, wreaths and festive centerpieces for the “Showing of the Trees” exhibit in the museum.

This year the exhibit also will be joined by children from local schools and youth groups, and their 14 trees will be displayed in the “Children’s Forest,” said Kristine Carter, Hands On! marketing manager. She said all trees and decorations designed for the event will be auctioned off at the Night of Lights Gala on Nov. 16.

“We have several different children’s groups that have volunteered to participate in this and a portion of the proceeds from the sale during the Night (of) Lights Gala will be returned to their classroom or organization,” Carter said.

At the reception, light refreshments were served as designers and others walked around to each of the displays.

One tree display by Suzan Harrison, owner of The Christmas Shop on Main in Jonesborough, not only encompassed a lot of Christmas colors, but also the spirit of the museum’s 25th anniversary.

“This particular tree I wanted to do a lot of silver and, of course, red being a traditional Christmas color,” Harrison said. “We did a lot of really pretty florals ... and some really cool glass plaid ornaments with silver, black and red to carry out our theme.”

Carter said while many of the designers took their own spin on the theme, the exhibit is just something fun to get the community into the holiday spirit.

“It’s just something that we’ve done for a long time at the museum. It’s part of our heritage and a tradition that we’ve really enjoyed continuing,” she said.

The exhibit will be open until Nov. 14. Night of Lights Gala tickets went on sale Thursday and are $100 each.

For more information on the Festival of Trees, Night of Lights Gala tickets or the museum, call 434-4263.

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