Festival of Trees flourishes at Port Angeles' Vern Burton Center
Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Jamie Scott of Port Angeles decorates a tree titled “Caffeinated Christmas” on Wednesday in preparation for this weekend's Festival of Trees at Vern Burton Community Center in Port Angeles.
By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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Bridal show unveils SaturdayPORT ANGELES — Black Diamond Bridal will host a bridal show during the Festival of Trees.
The bridal show will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St.
Belva Bodey, owner of Black Diamond Bridal, will have models showing 30 outfits of evening and bridal wear worth $35,000.
The event will be hosted by Richard Stephens.
For more information, phone 360-452-2354.
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Those are just a taste of the 53 themes found in the Festival of Trees, the pageant filling the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 W. Fourth St., today through Sunday.
“I've been to a lot of festivals of trees” in other cities, “and none of them have better trees than we do,” said Bruce Skinner, executive director of the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, beneficiary of the festival along with the Port Angeles Exchange Club.
Each tree among the dozens is transformed by a designer with a vision and an assistant. Cindy Teitzel and helper Jake Roorda adorned their tree, “Merry Marilyn,” sponsored by Jim's Pharmacy, with images of Monroe plus sequins and crystals.
Meanwhile, Earl Wilson and assistant Gary Ash built the Westport Shipyard-sponsored “Green with Envy” with emerald-hued LED lights, sheer garlands and green-apple ornaments.
“Our designers are real artists, the backbone of the event,” Skinner said.
The festival shows off the talent and desire, he added, that designers in Sequim and Port Angeles have to outdo themselves.
This year's event is the 22nd annual, and each year, designers have come, seen what the others did and decided to do even better next time.
The trees will be on display for $5 a person — free for children 7 and younger — during Family Days on Saturday and Sunday.
Hours will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
After strolling among the trees, visitors can enjoy music and children's activities both days.
Tonight is the big night when it comes to fundraising.
Gala dinner, auction
Tickets were still available Wednesday, Skinner said, for the Festival of Trees Gala, which features a gourmet buffet laid out by eight dining establishments at 5:30 p.m.
The auctioning of the big trees, designer-decorated wreaths and 4-foot silent auction trees will begin at 7:30 p.m., and then the Fat Chance band will provide the dance music at 9:30 p.m.
To reserve a $95 gala ticket, phone 360-417-7144.
The Friday Gala is one powerful party.
The 2011 event drew 450 attendees, a sellout for the first time in the festival's history.
The auctions raised a record $109,000 for the OMC Foundation and the Port Angeles Exchange Club.
The highest bid, $7,500, was for Westport Shipyard's tree, “Hillbilly Holiday.”
This year's Festival of Trees includes some less expensive events, such as the Saturday morning Senior Breakfast.
It's now open to all ages at $10 per person, and a limited number of tickets will be available at the door for the 8 a.m. breakfast.
The Teddy Bear Teas today at 10 a.m. and noon are another story.
Tickets to those went on sale Nov. 3 and, Skinner said, they sold out in two hours.
Like any nonprofit executive director, Skinner looks to attract a new crowd with a new event.
Saturday night dance
Hence the Saturday night dance, themed “Home for the Holidays,” will debut at 8 p.m. with the Bellingham-based Yogoman Burning Band.
This is the casual alternative to the Friday Gala, Skinner said.
Tickets are $10 at the door, and food and drink will be available for purchase, and the band will fill the Vern Burton with ska and soul music.
“It's an all-ages venue, so I'm really excited about that,” added Jordan Rain, aka Yogoman.
“We want to get the kids out there and the grandparents.”
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: November 22. 2012 5:27PM