By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
The annual Moapa Valley Festival of Trees is back with completely decorated and ready-to-go Christmas trees available. It is perfect for those who want to simplify their Christmas decorating while supporting a great cause at the same time.
The annual event is held by the Old Logandale School and Historical Society (OLSHACS) every year and is their annual major fundraiser Businesses, community groups, and even individuals may donate fully decorated trees, often decorated around a theme. These trees are then prominently displayed at the festival. Community members are then invited to come to the festival, look at, enjoy, and hopefully bid on the trees. At the end of the festival, those lucky enough to have winning bids can take their new tree home, fully decorated and ready to go.
Decorated trees may be the highlight of the festival, but they are by no means all that there is to enjoy, see, hear, and even buy. This year’s festival is bigger and better than ever.
“We really have a great festival planned this year,” said OLSHACS Director Robin Maughan. “I’m excited because we have a lot of trees coming in from different organizations that are joining us this year. Of course, we also have some wonderful trees coming in from our faithful supporters as well. It will be a really beautiful display.”
In addition to new trees and ideas, Maughan said that there will be gift baskets, holiday crafts, holiday decorations and other things to bid on. Over twenty vendors will be selling handmade gift items, baked goods, Christmas candies, and unique Christmas gifts of all types.
The annual raffle is also a favorite of many attendees every year. This year the festival will continue in that tradition. They have gathered donations from all over and there are lots of unique holiday items to be won. Maughan said that some of the highlights of raffle prizes include a 3 foot Santa decoration, a musical ceramic tree with a train running around it, and a large beautiful Nativity set. Raffle tickets will be sold at the door for $1 each or 6 for $5.
With all the trees and Christmas lights every where, the festival is always a visually stunning event. But there is also entertainment that will be going on throughout the festival. Friday will feature Moovin’ & Groovin’ Dance at 4pm followed by Madison Bus at 5pm and Drue and Jane Solomon at 6:30 pm. Saturday will feature Moovin’ & Groovin’ again at 10am, with In Harmony from Las Vegas at 12pm, Kountry Kickers from the Senior Center at 1 pm, and pianist Rose Whitmore at 4 pm.
As always, Santa Clause will be making an appearance on both days of the festival. Families are invited to bring their children to visit with him. He will be there on Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm and again on Saturday from 12 to 1 pm.
“We really want to stress that all the money that is earned through the festival stays right at OLSHACS to help us operate for the entire year,” Maughan said. “We are always so very grateful for the support we receive from the community that allows us to have this beautiful place.”
Maughan also stated that more donations of trees, gift baskets, or even gifts that people are willing to donate are welcome. “We have our trees that we already know are coming,” Maughan said. “But we are always excited as well for those that just show up when we open. We always save a spot for whatever we can get. We love everything that people are willing to donate.”
This year’s festival will begin on Friday, December 1, at 3pm and will be open until 7pm that evening. It will reopen Saturday morning at 9am and will end at 5pm.
Bidding will close promptly at 5pm on Saturday. Attendees should make sure and get their bid in before that time. Admission to the event is free.
This is a great family event that is not only fun, but also supports a great cause. “We want to encourage everyone to come and enjoy this start to the Christmas season with us,” Maughan said. “It is always so fun to see the creativity that everyone has and it truly is the best deal in town on a decorated tree. It’s a perfect family activity to start off the Christmas season.”