Bidding on virtual Festival of Trees runs through Saturday
COVID-19 pandemic forces scaled down event
SOUTH POINT — For six years, the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce has organized its annual Festival of Trees, first at Ohio University’s Proctorville Center and then at the Chamber’s headquarters in South Point.
But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for the event had to be changed this year.
“It’s unfortunate, but we had to think outside the box for all of this,” Marty Conley, director of the chamber’s convention and visitors bureau, said. “We can’t have huge gatherings.”
Conley said the outdoor Christmas Market, which was added to the festival in recent years and usually takes place outside, has been canceled.
But the Festival of Trees, which takes place in the Chamber building, will take place, though in a virtual form for the public.
Conley said more than 30 trees, decorated by local businesses, organizations and elementary schools and that bidding will run through Saturday on them.
All proceeds will go to the Chamber’s scholarship fund for three high school seniors each year.
Conley said that photos of each tree are on the Lawrence County Festival of Trees Facebook page, along with a video shot by Armstrong.
He said for those who would want to view a tree in person before considering a purchase, appointments can be made for an individual visit.
Those who want to bid on a tree can contact the Chamber at 740-377-4550. Bidding will be open until Saturday.
Awards will also be given after the trees are judged and will be announced next week.
As for events surrounding the festival, while the neighboring drive-through Nativity that usually takes place in canceled, Conley said the annual 5K Luminary run, which has taken place since 2018, will be held virtually on Friday and Saturday. Those wishing to take part can register at www.tristateracer.com, and then submit their times.
“You can run it on a treadmill or two states away,” he said, adding that those who sign up will also get a T-shirt.
Conley said the Chamber had hoped to host the events in person, but the severity of the pandemic forced them to call them off a few weeks ago.
“But we didn’t want to not do it, so we’re trying to get the word out for his,” he said.
He said, if things improve, the Chamber hopes to have an event in the spring next year for the community.