“Excitement is building for the 12th annual Festival of Trees,” notes event organizer Marged Higginson, who has been involved since the beginning of the annual fundraiser. The event will be held from 4:30-5:30 pm, Saturday, December 11, at Eastport Arts Center. After a ‘virtual’ festival of online ornament-making workshops last year, this year’s festival has been retooled for safety, while focused as always on a dazzling ‘forest’ of lovingly decorated tabletop trees. Attendees will be guided through one-way lanes for a socially distanced chance to view and bid on the trees; those who’d prefer to participate from afar are encouraged to send a proxy bidder. Musical entertainment by Brandy and Ross Argir, commentary by emcee Mark Macey, tempting raffles and takeout treats will complete the affair.

“While it is hard for decorators to decide on their tree names, many have succeeded,” adds Marged.Catherine Lee‘s tree, named ‘Lighting the Lanterns’, is based on childhood memories. Cathy Adelman has solved what to do with those interesting looking poppy seed pods and is calling hers ‘Stars and Pods’. Melissa Newcomb is so creative that hers will be called the ‘MultiCraft Tree’. David Oja of The Bazaar is calling his ‘Possibilities’; Susan Weaver and her sister Kris Smith are adorning a ‘Sewing Tree’. A newcomer to the festival, Fran McLean will offer ‘The Ornamental Tree of Color’ and Manuela Brice has been inspired to create ‘Life Goes in Mysterious Ways’. Mother Nature donated moss for ‘Old Man’s Beard’, by Cathy Moroz and Samra Kuseybi. To inspire others, decorators Cynthia Morse, Jeanne Peacock and Jane Scanlon have put together a tree decked with art supplies called ‘We Wish You a Very Arty Christmas’. Danielle Wheeler will harvest ‘Fruit of the Spirit’, and Connie Balogh will create a ‘Reindawg.’

The festive event will also boast local groups gathering to do trees, including the Eastport Garden Club (‘Winter Flowers’), French Club (‘Sage Sapin’), the Senior Center (‘Aged to Perfection’), the returning Little Water Street Gang, Peavey Memorial Library and other groups. On the musical side, the Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra will present ‘Tools of the Trade’, while The Concert Series offers ‘A Par-tri-idge in a Pear Tree’. Perhaps a sign on the times through which we have all been living, Georgie Kendall’s ‘Flower Power’ is in honor and memory of friends who have died from suicide. Also with a memorial tone, Dominic Noe will be remembered by Elizabeth Ostrander, who plans to share ornaments that were his.”

Raffle items will include boxes of shortbread Scottie dogs, potpourri jars from Barbara Smith at Dog Island Pottery, a 3-D wooden snowflake ornament from Eastport Breakwater Gallery and a children’s book, The First Blade ofSweetgrass, by Suzanne Greenlaw and Gabriel Frey, donated anonymously.

Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport and eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible. EAC abides by State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines. Additionally, at this time, patrons are required to wear masks when in the EAC building. 

A young one is dazzled by the enchanted forest at the 2019 Festival of Trees.
Photo by Robin Farrin.