By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
The best place to find a great deal on a fully decorated Christmas tree is definitely the annual Moapa Valley Festival of Trees. The festival was held last weekend at the Old Logandale School. It is the main annual fundraiser for the society that administers that historic building.
The festival is also a great place for residents and visitors in Moapa Valley to kick-start their holiday season, stock up on homemade treats, decorations, and get out and enjoy some great entertainment.
This year’s festival was bigger and better than ever. Attendance was strong, sales were good for vendors, and bids were high on the many beautifully decorated and themed trees. Raffle donations were also plentiful and ticket sales were good as well.
This year 27 brightly lit Christmas trees lined the main hall of the building. No two trees were alike. Trees were decorated all in a variety of colors and around various themes.
Many were extremely creative. Partners in Conservation (PIC) decorated a tree with toy cars, OHVs, street signs, and PIC merchandise. The Moapa Valley Performing Arts Council decorated its tree with 2 free tickets to each of their remaining performances for the year. The tickets laminated and hung as ornaments on the tree.
Trees were not the only items up for bid, however. There were also gift baskets, homemade Christmas stockings, unique decorations, beautiful handmade door wreaths, and many other items spread on tables around the gym.
Bidding jumped out quickly on Friday, slowed down a bit early on Saturday, and then took off again as the deadline crept up Saturday evening. This made for a very successful fundraising event.
For those who lost the bidding wars, there was still plenty of shopping to do with more vendors than ever. Vendors lined the entrance, the back of the gym, the halls, the classrooms, and every nook and cranny the building could offer. There was something for everyone including new clothes and treats, gift items and even products to pamper oneself.
Local entertainment was also a big highlight and there were plenty of chairs set up for people to enjoy the acts coming across the stage. Performers this year included Moovin’ and Groovin’ Dance, In Harmony, Drue and Jane Solomon, pianist Rose Whitmore, Madison Bush, and the Kountry Kicker line dancers from the Senior Center.
Of course, the most eagerly anticipated event on both days was a visit from Santa Claus. Festival organizer Robin Maughan said, “Santa Claus was so much fun this year. He had happy children and he had screaming children and it was just a lot of fun.”
Overton resident Natalie Groft brought her daughters Chloe and Felicity to visit Mr. Claus and then stayed around to enjoy the festival. “I think it’s fun to get everyone in the community come together to celebrate the holidays,” she said. “It really kicks off the holiday season.”
Joan Justice and Ann Bayou from Ohio saw the festival advertised in Mesquite where they were staying and decided to come down and take in the sights. “This is a fantastic venue for this event and we’re really impressed with the creativity in all these trees and decorations,” Justice said. “We’re so glad we came down for it.”
Event organizers were very pleased with how the festival went this year. Moapa Valley Art Guild President Jackie Worthen helped with the event and said, “It was really well-attended this year, so we’re grateful to the community for their support.”
Maughan agreed, saying, “It was a huge success this year. We had a great turnout. People came and really supported the entertainment so I was grateful for that. People were very generous in donating decorative items for the auction. We’re very happy with how things turned out.”