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Festival of Trees starts this weekend

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Special to The Ellis County Press
Red Oak - The Christmas season officially begins in Red Oak this weekend when the Second Annual Festival of Trees opens its doors to the public on Nov. 24 from 6-9 p.m. and Nov. 25 from 1-5 p.m.

The festival will also be open every evening Nov. 26 to Nov. 30 from 3-8 p.m. and the final day, Dec. 1, the festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The event will be held at the former Red Oak Elementary School located on the corner of Methodist and Red Oak Road.

Admission is free and proceeds from the dozens of beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, etc. to be auctioned will benefit the ROISD Education Foundation.

Volunteers have been hard at work transforming a classroom wing of the former elementary school into a veritable winter wonderland.

Headed by the creative imagination of Malea Jaffe, art teacher at Red Oak Junior High and aided by Pam Lynch, Karen Anderson and their team of Foundation directors, the halls have been officially 'decked' with yards and yards of paper, ribbon, lights and Christmas spirit.

'We really want to make the Festival of Trees a magical experience for everyone,' said organizer, Dana Rodes.

'That's what this is really all about, the whole community coming together in the spirit of joy to create something beautiful and memorable for everyone to share. People's reactions when they came to our first Festival of Trees last year and saw the splendor of all the magnificent trees was that it took their breath away. I think people will be even more delighted this year by the wonder and magic of it all. It has required a tremendous amount of work and generosity from tree donors and everyone involved, but the end result will be truly special for all people of Red Oak as they share in this happy Christmas tradition.'

There will special room for children called 'Frosty's Snow Fort' where kids can make a 'snow angel' on the ground, and where on the weekend times they can make a free ornament to take home, courtesy of Adventure Academy. Santa will be making special appearances in the Santa Room and parents are invited to take pictures with their children. There will be live entertainment in the Performance Room (see schedule below), and refreshments will be available from various non-profit groups in the area. Of course, everyone attending will have the opportunity to enjoy and bid on the many fabulous trees and wreaths on display.

Businesses, churches, school classrooms, organizations and individuals from all over town have donated pre-lit artificial trees or wreaths that they have decorated in a variety of styles which will be sold to the highest bidder by silent auction which will close at 7p.m. on Dec. 1.

Come select a gorgeous holiday creation, enjoy the entertainment, activities, refreshments and support the education of Red Oak students at the same time!

See below for daily scheduled events:
Sunday 11/25/07
2 p.m. One Stroke Holiday Painting Demonstration

Monday 11/26/07
Refreshment area hosted by the Methodist Mens Group of First United Methodist Church of Red Oak
5p.m. Life School Singers

Tuesday 11/27/07
Refreshment area hosted by RO High School Cheerleaders
6 p.m. Good News Club

Wednesday 11/28/07
Refreshment area hosted by RO High School Drill Team

Thursday 11/29/07
Refreshment area hosted by Red Oak Lions Club
5 p.m. Dance Expressions
7 p.m. Stacia's School of dance

Friday 11/30/07
6p.m. Christian Rock Band

Saturday 12/01/07
11a.m. Shields Elementary Steel Drum Band and Choir
1p.m. Katrina Knight
2p.m. Sassy Seniors Dance Troupe
3p.m. Wooden Elementary 4th Grade Singers
4p.m. Red Oak Junior High Choir
7p.m. Winners of all auctions, raffles announced

Anyone interested in having their group perform or sell refreshments, contact Janet Watts 972-576-8244 or Pam Lynch at 214-534-1044. For schedule updates check the Foundation website at: www.redoakisdfoundation.org

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