Festival of Trees set to open

Published 10:04 am Thursday, November 22, 2012

Trees with all sorts of themes — even knit monkeys — can be seen at the Festival of Trees at the Northbridge Mall. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

By Colleen Thompson

The Albert Lea Art Center presents its annual Festival of the Trees at the Northbridge Mall this holiday season.

Barren Christmas trees are brought to the former Christopher and Banks space across from Pizza Ranch and await decoration by different individuals and local service groups who enjoy expressing their artistic side.

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“We get several new people each year that are interested in decorating,” volunteer Donna Widenhoefer said.

The Knights of Columbus decorated this patriotic tree at the Festival of Trees show being held at the Northbridge Mall. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

The Art Center has been hosting this event for more than 20 years. This year’s decorators include 29 individuals and organizations, including: Audubon, Knights of Columbus, the Freeborn County Historical Society, the Fountain Lake Bookstore, the Freeborn County Humane Society, Beth Tostenson, Susan DeVries and Marty Shepard.

The theme for the season is All that Glitters is Golden. The gallery will open for the public on Friday and will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday until Dec. 30.

A special open house is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday with refreshments from Mrs. Gerry’s and Joe LaFrance of Cedar Valley Services. There will also be musical entertainment by Orrie Jirele and Laverne Walheim’s five-piece brass band. There is no charge and community families are encouraged to attend.