SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) A beloved holiday tradition has returned to Syracuse once more: the Festival of Trees and Lights, an annual two-week celebration of the holiday arts hosted by the Everson Museum of Art. From now until December 16th, the museum will display lovingly crafted Christmas trees, holiday wreaths, and handmade pieces by local artisans.
In addition to these new displays, the festival also features live performances from dancers, bands, choirs, and singers, and workshops where attendees can make their own wreaths, clay snowmen, paintings, menorahs, or popsicle-stick cabins. New this year, Everson is also offering raffle baskets and items up for auction at the festival. The baskets the raffle winners would choose from include themes ranging from wine, get-well-soon, gaming, and kids’ toys. One of the most prized options on the auction block is a Syracuse University-themed Christmas tree, which comes with a package granting courtside Syracuse University basketball tickets and parking passes to a game next season.
These new elements of the festival–as well as everything else that goes into it–are thanks to the hard work of the Everson Museum Members’ Council, a volunteer group that contributes to the goings-on at the museum. They are the organizers of the Festival of Trees and Lights–and according to their president, Liz Harrick, it can be a year-long effort.
“It can be up to six months of planning,” she said. “It’s so rewarding.”
Shari Merton, the learning and engagement coordinator for the museum, hosts some of the workshops at the museum. She says it’s her pleasure to make the Everson inviting for everyone.
“I want to break boundaries,” she told NCC News. “I’ve always been interested in taking really complex things, things that maybe don’t seem as opening or inviting, and trying to open that up and break down the mystery of it.”
With the new additions to the festivities and the goal of bringing in as many people as possible to experience the art, the Everson’s as inviting as it’s ever been–appropriate to ring in the most wonderful time of the year. For anyone who wants to see it for themelves, tickets are available on the Everson Museum of Art’s website.