A chance to bring holiday cheer to your front door while supporting the arts in Carroll County is here, as the Festival of Wreaths is underway at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster.
The Festival of Wreaths, in its 25th year, is a silent auction to raise money for the Carroll Arts Council. The auction runs daily, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Sunday at the arts center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster and online at https://events.handbid.com/auctions/festival-of-wreaths-2022/items.
The event features more than 100 wreaths and holiday art pieces created by artists and businesses in August and September. Gwen Asbury, Carroll Arts Council special events and volunteer coordinator, said this is the council’s second biggest fundraiser after spring’s Peep Show event.
“I think it’s a great event that brings community together,” Asbury said. “You can see the heart behind all the entries.”
The time and materials to make the handcrafted wreaths are donated by individuals and families. Businesses often donate items to the festival, such as admission tickets, which are auctioned alongside a wreath made to represent the organization.
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Wreaths are created by Arts Council staff members, with assignments made according to the staff’s personal interests. This is the third year that Moriah Tyler, education and visual arts coordinator for the arts council, has made wreaths for the festival.
Tyler said she was responsible for crafting a wreath that represents Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, a garden-themed wreath. It features little red mushrooms sprouting from moss and miniature gardening tools, plus four general admission passes to the gardens.
She also created an aquatic-themed wreath with sea turtles, decorative seaweed and seashells that comes with two ticket vouchers for the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Her creation representing Catoctin Wildlife Preserve in Thurmont includes bears, berries and trees, as well as a certificate for admission to the zoo for one adult and one child. All passes and tickets are donated by the organizations.
“They donate to us out of the generosity and kindness of their hearts,” Tyler said. “Even if you’re not interested in buying a wreath or bidding, I think once you walk around you’ll find one that you would be interested in because there is such a range of different stuff out there. It’s a very diverse collection.”