There is a large variety of trees decorated by local businesses and organizations on display during the Festival of Trees at the Schenectady County Historical Society and nearby YWCA until Sunday, Dec. 11. The two groups extended the viewing time by a full week this year due to popular demand.
Photo by John Purcell.
continued 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.
“It is a wonderful tradition and it gets people in the holiday spirit,” said Rafalik. “There is always that feeling that maybe people are learning something new about the Schenectady community, which is always so important.”
She added the trees at the YWCA are mostly from businesses and organizations while the society showcases some older ornaments and historical items relating to Schenectady.
“We have one tree from a group at Draper Middle School that is made from all recycled material,” she said. “We have another tree from Schenectady Day Nursery that has wonderfully smelling little gingerbread boys and girls on it.”
When looking closely at Draper’s tree, she said the little details on the student’s handmade ornaments show how things were recycled.
“The ornaments are terrific … the kids did a good job with it,” she said.
There are also trees that are being raffled off and the Historical Society is selling delft ornaments, which are traditional Dutch-style ornaments originating out of the delft community.
“There is a lot of work involved, but it is just something fun to be able to do,” said Mahoney.
An additional event is being held during the showing hours on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m., with bell ringers from the First Reformed Church of Scotia performing at the Historical Society.
“They play Christmas music but people performing only use hand bells,” said Mahoney. “It is really pretty and they do a great job with it.”
The admission fee for the Festival of Trees, which includes the displays at both buildings, is $5 for adults and $2 for children 6 to 12 years old. Children 5 years old and younger are free. The proceeds are split evenly between the Historical Society and the YWCA.
Display hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., with the event ending on Sunday, Dec. 11. For information on the event visit the Historical Society’s website at www.schist.org.