WEEKEND: Holiday spirit grows at Forks Festival of Trees
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Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News
Don Grafstrom of Forks looks over the Christmas trees on display during the 2011 Festival of Trees in Forks.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — The smell of fresh-cut trees, the glitter of tinsel, the gleam of silver and gold ornaments, and the sounds of musical performers will be a feast for the senses at the 18th annual Forks Festival of Trees this weekend.

“It really gets you in the Christmas spirit,” said Audrey Grafstrom, vice president of Soroptimist International of the Olympic Rain Forest, organizers of the event.

This year, there are 16 trees, including a “Babes in Toyland” tree that will be raffled off during the event, along with a collection of toys to go under it, Grafstrom said.

Some of the toys were donated, while others were handcrafted by inmates at the Olympic Corrections Center, she said.

The decorated trees will be available for free public viewing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Forks Congregational Church, 280 S. Spartan Ave.

Sunday auction

On Sunday, the trees will be auctioned to the highest bidder, with proceeds going to fund Soroptimist scholarships and grants, Forks Middle School programs and other projects supporting children in the Forks area.

The Festival of Trees is the Soroptimist Club's biggest fundraiser, with an average of $10,000 a year spent on trees, wreaths and other holiday items, Grafstrom said.

“It carries us through the year,” she said.

Refreshments will be sold, and silent auctions will take place throughout the event.

Doors open Sunday at 1 p.m., and the auction for the trees begins at 2 p.m.

This year's event has a musical theme, “There's a Song in the Air,” to celebrate the return of the music program to Forks schools, Grafstrom said.

Sally Mileci, Juanit Weissenfels and Friends will perform at 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by ­Forkestra at 3 p.m.

On Sunday, Crescent Blue will perform from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., with additional musical interludes during the auction, she said.

Grafstrom said the noble fir trees for the festival were cut Tuesday at the Lazy J Tree Farm in Agnew, so they are fresh for display in homes or businesses.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 06. 2012 5:28PM
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