Thanks to art enthusiasts from all over the community, the Community Arts Center is being transformed into a holiday wonderland, beginning with its first annual Festival of Trees.
The exhibit was inspired by Paramount Arts Center’s Festival of Trees in Ashland, now in its 26th year, and features unique Christmas trees and a nutcracker collection. Volunteers Sarah Wiltsee and Lynda Ross led this labor of love, which has brought out the very best in the community: People have donated Christmas trees, lights and their own creative skills to the project of making the arts center the place to be this holiday season. Thanks to them, the entire arts center will be filled with one-of-a-kind trees, each one hand-decorated by a volunteer and given its own look or theme.
Volunteers aren’t the only ones in the holiday spirit — several local businesses and patrons have generously donated trees to both the exhibit and the Community Arts Center Raffle, the proceeds of which will go toward funding arts classes and programs at the arts center. While at the exhibit, visitors can buy raffle tickets that are $5 each or six for $25. Each raffle tree is unique in size, shape, color and decoration— some even have their own theme — and each one will contribute to keeping the arts center open to the public. Invest in your own tree and you will also be investing in the fabulous arts programming the arts center has become famous for.
This exhibit will be offered through Dec. 23; admission is $3.
As part of Trees of the Season, the arts center is offering several special holiday events for children and adults of all ages. The arts center’s gift shop becomes the Whistle Stop Gift Shop. The Whistle Stop Gift Shop carries one-of-a-kind holiday gifts including ornaments, mugs, candy dishes, snowman aprons and much more. The best part about Whistle Stop is that gifts range from $.50 to $25 and up, so visitors are guaranteed to find something within their budgets.
The Community Arts Center has teamed up with the Danville Fire Department’s Annual Christmas Toy Drive in helping out the community again this holiday season. During Trees of the Season, visitors can help make the season bright for many local children who are less fortunate; it’s as simple as donating a new, unwrapped toy for children ages 1 to 12, especially 10- to 12-year-olds, as long as it isn’t battery-powered or a clothing item. Cash and check donations also are accepted; checks can be made out the Danville Fire Department and will be used to buy toys as requested by local families.
A special collection day will be held at the Community Arts Center, 401 W. Main St., across from the Main Fire Station in Danville, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 11. During this time, if you buy a toy from the Whistle Stop Gift Shop (minimum $5 value), you will be able to see the Trees of the Season exhibit for free.
Whether you’re looking for some holiday cheer or just want to see something new, the halls are decked and ’tis the season to be jolly.