AP NEWS

PARIS, TN: Annual Festival of Trees gets new home this year

November 17, 2016

If you want to show off your Christmas tree decorating skills for all of Henry County to see, there’s still time.

Entries are being accepted for the annual Festival of Trees — the yearly yuletide gathering of Christmas trees from all walks of life.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of local businesses, civic organizations, churches and individuals have all shown off their tree-trimming skills through the years, giving a holiday glow to the downtown area.

The annual event originally began inside a building on East Washington Street before migrating to a new home at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. Now, it’s set to move to a new home inside the former Murray-McKenzie building at 110 W. Washington St., according to Kathy Ray, DPA director.

“We’re excited that it will be on the court square,” Ray said. “We will have our own storefront. I think it’s going to be a great venue for it.”

The festival isn’t just a colorful collection of holiday trees — it’s also a competition, with trophies and bragging rights available in three separate categories.

A secret panel of judges will choose first-, second- and third-place awards for the Most Original and Best Decorated trees.

Those winners will be announced at a Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce coffee at 8 a.m. Dec. 6 — the day the exhibit first opens to the public.

Starting that day, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays; and from 1-4 p.m. Sundays until Dec. 18.

A People’s Choice award will be voted on throughout the festival, with the winner announced at the close of the event on Dec. 18.

Those interested in joining in the decorating fun must get their entry forms and a $25 entry fee turned into Ray by Friday at the DPA office, 203 N. Fentress St.

Each participant must provide their own tree, with a minimum height of five feet and a diameter of 3-6 feet.

Entrants must provide appropriate decorations as well as their own extension cords.

For a full list of rules, or for more information, call Ray at 653-7274.