John Barberio and his daughter Rachel, 12, look over the decorated Christmas trees at the LCCC Festival of Trees Friday.Aimee Dilger/The Times Leader
NANTICOKE – The Luzerne County Community College Educational Conference Center kicked off the holiday season Friday night with an opening reception for its third annual “Festival of Trees.”
More than a dozen uniquely decorated trees sponsored by local businesses and organizations were on display. Light refreshments were served and musical entertainment was provided by the Dallas Middle School Select Chorus.
“We wanted to have a nice, free event for families to kick off Christmas,” said Becky Shedlock, director of the Educational Conference Center. Proceeds from this year’s event will be used to purchase winter hats for American Red Cross distribution. The trees will be on display through December. For a $1 donation, visitors can vote for their favorite tree.
Ten-year-old Erin Kelly said she liked the tree with the “bubble lights” on the old time tree. “I wish I could have all those trees in my house to wake up to every morning,” she said, as she waited with her family to see her brother Ryan, 13, perform in the chorus.
“This is a wonderful way to bring people together before the holidays,” said college President Tom Leary. “In these stressful times, people really need to sit back and enjoy each other.”
Pointing out that the holidays can be a lonely time for some people, Leary said he urges his students and others to give the gift of companionship. “Reach out to find someone who desperately needs someone to talk to.”
The trees can be viewed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Educational Conference Center through December.