The Greenfield Beat: Jesseca Timmons – Weather can’t stop Festival of Trees 

  • Jesseca Timmons

Published: 12/8/2022 11:36:58 AM
Modified: 12/8/2022 11:36:37 AM

Well, maybe I jinxed us by saying we were hoping for good weather at Fire and Ice. Next year, I’ll write “break a leg,” or whatever is good luck for weather at holiday parades! The afternoon rain held off until right about when the parade started, but the weather didn’t stop Greenfielders from turning out to attend the town tree-lighting at the library and watch the stunning procession of illuminated floats and fire trucks from East Road to Oak Park.

As many people noted, the weather could have been a lot worse. This year’s Fire and Ice event was definitely a bonding experience. Cheers to everyone who volunteered, sponsored and attended all the events -- from the Fire Department for the months of planning, to the Police Department directing traffic in the dark, to the Oak Park kitchen crew serving food in the pouring rain to the parents getting kids out on a wet night. It was an all-town effort.

Up at the Meetinghouse, the Festival of Trees saw a steady stream of visitors, many of whom requested tours of the building. Our Friends of the Meetinghouse volunteers love giving tours and talking about the potential for restoring this 227- year-old building. The Festival of Trees brought in several hundred dollars in donations for the repair project. Our first-place tree winner, by popular vote, was by Sharon Andrews, assisted by Kathy Seigars, for her stunning “Glamorous Housewives”-themed tree. Sharon managed to decorate this tree and bake 150 Christmas cookies for the event; they were much appreciated by all who attended!

The trees that tied for second place could not have been more different. The first was Karen Russell’s lovely “Fairyland” display, which transfixed all the children at the event with fairies, miniature lights and tiny, fanciful trees created from moss and lichen. Karen’s display tied with CJ Hall’s “Recycled Tree.” CJ, who runs the Greenfield Recycling Center, took an artificial tree someone had dropped off and inserted it in the base of an old lamp – far superior to the flimsy stands most artificial trees use – and decorated the branches with found items.

CJ noticed that the bottoms of small plastic water bottles look like snowflakes and make excellent ornaments; most people did not even realize what these shiny snowflake ornaments really were. CJ and his team completed the tree with repurposed scrap metal. All of the trees in the festival were beautiful, creative and charming. The Little Charlotte’s Kettle Corn Tree was another popular favorite. Who knew you could make giant popcorn kernels with insulation foam!

I had mentioned in an earlier column that the five “winning trees” would be displayed at the library afterwards, but, as it turns out, the ones on display were just the last five trees to be picked up. The five trees currently on display at Stephenson Library are the Recycling Center tree, the adorable Post Office tree; the Greenfield Girl Scout Troop cookie-themed tree, the book tree created by Greenfield author Elaine Carrier and the beautiful antique ornament tree created by Warren Aldrich. (We’ll be hearing more about him in another column!).

The library’s own delightful “Classic Movies” tree is also on display. Elaine Carrier generously donated the book tree to the festival to be raffled off, and a lucky Greenfield family was excited to win this beautiful stack of children’s books. I wasn’t sure how we would move the book tree from the Meetinghouse to Stephenson Library, because it was very heavy, but I needn’t have worried. Our incredibly energetic librarian, David Bridgewater, charged across the street with a dolly in the pitch dark and brought the book tree right back to the library. (If anyone saw us running across Route 31 in the dark carrying Christmas trees, no, you were not hallucinating.)

We’re hoping for even more fabulous Greenfield trees in 2023!

Are you a Greenfield artist, musician or craftsperson? Email me about your business at jesstimm17@gmail.com.


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