Holiday traditions benefit art students at Museum of East Texas

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - There's no shortage of Christmas time dressings at the Museum of East Texas.

"Ninety trees this year. It's more than ever before. We're very excited to have the largest Festival of Trees," said festival co-chair Emily Goodwin.

Each tree is decked out in a unique theme, from Monopoly to Popeye's Chicken. There's a special tree to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

"It's great for everyone. There are a lot of grown-up trees that are wonderful and there's also a lot of kid-friendly trees. Kids are going to walk in and say 'wow,'" Goodwin said.

Festival organizers couldn't hold their Christmas cheer any longer; they got in the spirit in October.

"It starts about October 31st. That's when we roll the trees out," said guild president Susan Boelasco.

"It took a lot of effort. We had about two weeks of pulling out trees, setting up trees. We even have to designate themes to each tree. Every tree and every position is pretty much planned before hand," said co-chair Ashley Pigg.

Every decorated tree is donated by a family or a local business, all to benefit children with a love for art.

"It's the annual fundraising event for the guild that provides scholarships for art camps during the summertime," said Boelasco.

"This sponsors kids that may not be able to go otherwise and they get to come all week long," said Pigg.

For 17 years the festival of trees has helped kids explore their creativity and it's possible through generosity.

"It's really the community that makes it fun and exciting and keeps it fresh," said Goodwin.

The reward after walking down the halls is leaving with the spirit of the season.

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