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Colorful displays are tradition at Paramount Arts Center

ASHLAND, Ky. — Some of them come with music, others with a festive fireplace. Some rotate and some have lights that blink.

And one is upside down. All of them sparkle with the anticipation of the holidays.

The annual Festival of Trees at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, Ky., opened to the public Saturday and continues through Nov. 25. In addition to the trees, there are two train displays, a wreath and flower arrangement display and gingerbread houses.

“There really is something for everyone,” PAC Marketing Director Tyson Compton said. “I like to walk around and hear what people are saying as they are looking at the trees. For first-timers, even if they have heard about the festival of trees, until they come and see it for themselves, they just don’t get it.”

You’ve got personality

Though the theme for this year’s festival is “Lights of our world,” each tree is decorated with a theme as well, all meant to express a mood or idea of the designer.

“Holy Night of Angelic Lights,” sponsored by Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, is decorated in gold and white ornaments and has nativity figures situated underneath it.

With its huge bulbs and strings of gum drop candy and popcorn, “Reminisce,” brings to life the feeling of Christmases gone by.

“This one my grandfather brought back from Germany, pre-war,” designer Gary Coon said as he touched an ornament. “It’s been passed down through the generations. I started collecting ornaments and decided to design the kind of tree I grew up with.”

“Hummingbird Christmas,” sponsored by the Grandview Inn, was festooned with pine cones and small delicate birds.

One tree is a reminder that not everyone will celebrate this holiday at home with loved ones.

“Will Daddy be home for Christmas?” is a salute to Iraq war soldiers. Sponsored by Hatcher Elementary, photographs of two area men killed in action, Theodore “Tuc” Church of Burlington and Joey Cantrell, of Westwood, Ky., lay at the base of the tree.

Sure to be a favorite for children, “Christmas campfire lights is decorated with snow, small Cardinals, pine cones and Christmas plaid ribbons.

At the foot of the tree, bears sit around a campfire while deer and squirrels and even a skunk are sheltered under the branches.

Gingerbread homes

At the front of the auditorium is a collection of gingerbread houses, five of which are the creation of Dawson-Bryant High School students. “Barnyard life” features a large barn with farm animals while “Holiday pebble house” had an adobe look. Santa was perched on top of it. “Saving blessings” was a gingerbread church with a clean white steeple.

Miniatures

Some of the trees are proof that size really doesn’t matter if the decorations pack a punch.

“It’s a girl thing,” sponsored by Designing Divas, has hot pink bows and feather boas laced around it.

“And he shall come and command his angels to watch over thee,” sponsored by Karen Radjunas and Lorraine Thomas, has small white angels adorning it.

For a completely different look, “Puttin on the ritz” is a black tree with small crystal wine glasses and beads. A bottle of wine is chilling at the base of the tree.

Wreaths

In the foyer, several organizations and businesses are displaying door wreaths, flower arrangements are other small decorations. Sugar Creek Christian Academy is showcasing a wreath titled “Jesus is the light.” It has sprays of large red flowers.

The train

On the upper balcony is a

-foot train display, complete with a village.

“Most everyone likes the train but little boys especially, will come and just sit and watch it,” Compton said.