By ROSIE GITHINJI
MT. VERNON — —
Schools, businesses and churches will be pitted against each other to see who can decorate the best Christmas tree.
The annual Live Nativity and Festival of Trees, at the United Methodist Children’s Home, offers Christmas cheer and a chance to help those in need.
Marcus Holland, UMCH development coordinator, said during the Festival of Trees people can vote on the one they like best with $1. The tree with the most dollars will be the winner.
In the past the tree decorating competition was for children in the area schools, but Holland said this year it was opened up to businesses, churches and programs at UMCH.
“If a school wins, they win a pizza party,” Holland said. “Everyone else will just win an award.”
The trees can be decorated in any theme the participant wants to choose. Holland said in the past there have been trees with sports, science or art themes.
There will also be a best in school award. This year, if multiple trees from one school do well, the children will receive a certificate.
The community is also welcome to drive through the campus to see the live nativity scenes. Holland said people can also walk through, and there will be volunteers to help with parking for those who want to walk.
“One point of confusion is that people sometime don’t know if they should get out or drive through,” Holland said.
There are over 40 volunteers who will be working at the live nativity, staff and their family as well as volunteers from some of the UMCH programs among them.
Everyone dresses up for the different scenes, like wise men, shepherds or angels, Holland said.
“Each year we have live animals,” Holland said. “Sheep, horses, donkeys and whatever other animals we can get a hold of.”
Winners of the tree decorating competition will be announced at the end of the night at 8:30 p.m. The proceeds will benefit UMCH and several of its programs, Holland said.
“It’s not a large fundraiser for us, but it is a great community event to us to give back to the community,” he said.
The Live Nativity and Festival of Trees will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7 at the United Methodist Children’s Home, 2023 Richview Road.
For more information on how to enter a tree visit www.umchome.org, or contact Holland at 242-1070, ext. 234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.