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December 4, 2013

Festival of the Trees brings in the crowds

McALESTER — More than 100 people attended the first Festival of Trees held Saturday at the International Rainbow for Girls Supreme Temple visitors, organizers say.

“We had people of all ages passing through,” said Karen Askew Rainbow for Girls executive director.

Several schools, local businesses and organizations donated trees to the fcast their vote for their favorite tree by casting a ballot for $1 each.

All the money raised form the ballots and from a silent auction of the fully decorated trees benefitted the Southeast Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross, Askew said.

The Festival of the Trees was held in conjunction with the Christmas on the Hill festival and walking tour, according to Askew.

The trees on display included an OSU-decorated tree, a Wild West Tree by the McAlester Old Town Association, and several trees decorated by local schools, including Edmond Doyle and Puterbaugh, as well as trees donated by several local businesses.

Also featured, but not for auction,was a tree voted as “Most Original” by those who cast ballots during the event.

The “Most Original” tree was called “O Christmas Tea” and was decorated with tea cups and tea spoons by the Southeast Oklahoma Fine Arts gallery, Askew said.

She said a tree donated by Briggs Printing won  the“Most Traditional” award.

“They were all just amazing,” Askew said.

Askew said she was excited for the community to come and see the trees and tour the building.

And she said it looks like the Tree Festival might become an annual event. “

We were very happy with it and I think the community enjoyed it as well,” Askew said.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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