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Holiday trees bring festive cheer

Weeklong display showcases decorated evergreens

The holidays are approaching and if you want to get in the festive spirit you don't have to go too far to see some traditional and uniquely decorated trees.

Christmas trees prepared by local business and community groups will be on display at The Schenectady County Historical Society headquarters and the YWCA, which are both located on Washington Avenue in Schenectady, from Saturday, Nov. 27, to Sunday, Dec. 5. There will be around 15 more trees than the previous year, so there will be no shortage of holiday spirit.

It is an inexpensive thing for families to come and see, said Joanne Rafalik, director of Development and Communications at the YWCA. "It gets people in the holiday spirit to see the different ways of decorating a tree."

A similar event was previously hosted at Proctors, but once the event stopped at that location the historical society and YWCA came together to continue hosting the event.

"I think it was something that people could recognize happening with Schenectady and something to promote this community in a positive way," said Ryan Mahoney, curator for the historical society. "You see a lot of traditions going by the wayside and this is something we can continue to have going throughout the years."

Local businesses and community groups are given free rein to create whatever kind of holiday tree they would like to showcase. Sometimes trees will have a certain theme relating the group and tree are decorated in ways you wouldn't normally see in someone's living room.

"The trees are basically anything you can imagine," said Mahoney. "We have over a thousand people come here yearly for the event."

The event brings the community closer together and allows businesses to connect with residents in a different way, said Rafalik. There will be around 60 trees displayed at the two locations. Employees get a chance to put "their creative juices together" and think of tree for their company, she said.

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