Festival of Trees exhibit returns to Museum of East Texas for 26th year

Published: Nov. 20, 2021 at 5:07 PM CST
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - From Chick-fil-A to the Ellen Trout Zoo, The Museum of East Texas has a wide variety of trees on display sponsored by 50 local businesses in the Lufkin area.

The money that the Museum of East Texas makes from the Festival of Trees exhibit goes to provide scholarships for art camps next summer. Jamie Zayler, the co-chair of the Festival of Trees said this year, they scaled back on the number of trees, capping it at 50 businesses.

“The main reason we did that is because we didn’t know what COVID is going to be like. We start planning in April, so we didn’t know what we were going to be dealing with in December. And also, we have a new creator at the museum, and he has just done a fabulous job putting up some fabulous artwork, and this way, when you come out to the museum, you can see not only the trees but the beautiful artwork,” Zayler said.

Mary Carol Grimes has been decorating the trees for the past five to six years. Grimes said the Museum of East Texas’ decorators start on the trees after Halloween.

“The topper of a tree is always like, ‘Boom!’ and I thought, ‘I can’t do that,’ and then I did one, and I thought, ‘Yes I can I can do this!’ So that was really neat for me to find out,” Grimes said.

Grimes said she tries her best to give each tree some personality. The decorating process can take upwards of 1.5 hours per tree.

“Some people have their own idea, and they’ll say, ‘Okay I want da-to-tee-da,’ and they’ll buy everything they want. Other people just say I want a tree, and I don’t really care what you do, which gives me creative freedom,” Grimes said.

The exhibit is free to the public and will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on the weekends from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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