Every year for the past 11 years, members of the local business community have been turning a blank canvas into Christmas magic for the Taneytown Heritage and Museum Association's annual Holiday of Trees. This year is no exception with participants creating works of art in the form of Holiday trees, wreaths and centerpieces.
These works of art will be on display at the Taneytown branch of New Windsor State Bank, at 222 E. Baltimore St., from Nov. 28 through Dec. 17.
Among the participants are New Windsor State Bank with a "peppermint-themed" centerpiece, a Jingle Beanies-themed tree entered by Susan Thomas, and a Maryland- and crab-themed tree by Crabby Scott's Seafood in nearby Littlestown, Pennsylvania. Mother Seton School, Runnymede Elementary and Taneytown Elementary each have an entry. Mother Seton's entry, "Family Time Christmas," includes assorted games and crafts the family can do together. Runnymede's "Maryland Tree" includes a handmade tree skirt and ornaments made from real crab shells, while Taneytown's "Hometown Heroes" features handmade ornaments made by fifth-grade students and pictures of Taneytown residents who are members of the military, fire department or police department. Across the tree, a ribbon is inscribed with a message to the Hometown Heroes stating, "Thank you for your service."
Johnsville Auction House in Union Bridge is another one of this year's entries. It has participated for the past three years. Their vintage ornaments-themed tree includes vintage-style ornaments as well as several gift cards from local establishments including Original Pizza in Union Bridge, Texas Roadhouse and Starbucks.
Jennifer Smith, one of the owners of Johnsville Auction House, said this is their third year participating in the event. When asked why they chose to participate in this fundraiser, Smith said: "The Johnsville Auction House is a local organization with ties to the Taneytown community, we feel that this is a way to give back to the community and its citizens during the holiday season."
Fairy Flickinger, chairwoman of the event, indicated the annual event is a fundraiser for the Taneytown Heritage and Museum. Proceeds are used to create and maintain the many artifacts and displays, as well as the museum building and grounds.
This is the 11th year for the Holiday of Trees. With the number of participants increasing every year, the event soon outgrew its original location in town. That is when New Windsor State Bank stepped in and volunteered the bank's Taneytown location. For the past six years, New Windsor State Bank has been home to the Holiday of Trees. It has become somewhat of a tradition. Cynthia Lamirande, vice president and branch manager, said, "When the Museum had to move out of the building downtown, I offered to let them set up the event at the New Windsor State Bank in Taneytown. We have plenty of room, and the decor of the bank makes a wonderful backdrop for all the lovely trees."
The members of the Holiday of Trees Committee have nothing but praise for the staff at the bank. Flickinger said, "They have been very gracious with us and welcoming us because we are a little disruptive when we go in there and we move their things around."
"When the museum had to close uptown and we didn't have a home, New Windsor Bank was gracious and allowed us to come there," she added.
Lamirande, who is also a member of the Taneytown Heritage and Museum Association, said: "My staff is very involved [with the event]. We help sell items for the museum when they have no docents available. Many of the New Windsor State Bank staff get involved with the silent auction. We are looking forward to many more years of hosting this event."
With 25 uniquely themed entries, the Holiday of Trees is sure to delight children and adults alike. There just might be one tree that speaks to their hearts.
Holiday of Trees is open to the public starting Nov. 28 and running through Dec. 17. Visitors can stop by to vote and bid on their favorites. Votes cost just a penny each, so you can vote for as many of your favorites as you like.
In addition to the opportunity to bid on the trees, wreaths and centerpieces, there will be a 50/50 cash raffle. Tickets are on sale now and available at New Windsor State Bank, Crouse Ford or any member of the Taneytown Heritage Committee. Tickets are $2 each, $5 for three or $10 for seven.
There is also an opportunity to win one of two $25 gift cards to Sheetz by finding a coupon on literature around town advertising the event. Fill out the coupon and bring it to the bank for your chance to win. Free Raffle tickets can also be found at New Windsor State Bank.
The public is invited to walk through to view the trees, make a bid and cast a vote for favorites. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 to 6 on Friday and 9 to noon on Saturday.
Winning bids will be announced on Dec. 17. Winning bids need to be picked up by 1 p.m. on Dec. 17.
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Gabrielle Schoeffield covers Taneytown, Union Bridge, New Windsor and surrounding areas. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.