Preparations underway for Festival of Tress at Museum of East Te - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Preparations underway for Festival of Tress at Museum of East Texas

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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

Christmas is over a month away but the holiday spirit has already in invaded the Museum of East Texas.

Preparations are already underway to continue the 20 year tradition of Festival of Trees.

 "It's been a great thing for the museum and for the community and its gives so many people the opportunity to honor someone," said Martha Chandler, Tree Decorator.

Last year 105 trees filled the museum halls and gallery and organizers are expecting to top that number this year.

 Decorators Valerie Epps and Martha Chandler say its takes about three weeks to get everything done.

 "It's really a feeling of accomplishment and pride because you've done something from your heart," said Epps.

The duo has had a tree in the festival for three years a tradition they've started in honor of Chandler's son who died in 2006.

 "I became aware of the trees and wanted to do something in his memory in honor of him," said Chandler.

 "I loved her son, its gives me a feeling of pride that I've done something for her and for him," said Epps.

The team says they haven't finished creating the tree just yet, but no matter the decorations love is always the theme.

 "The first year we did it, it was mostly a nature type theme and then last year we decided to cover it in doves, white doves and that was beautiful," said Epps.

And once their tree is complete and festival of tree begins they hope to give onlookers a glimpse of hard work straight from the heart.

 "I truly hope that when they look at our tree that they get a sense of inspiration," said Epps.   

Every decorated tree is donated by a family or a local business , all to benefit children with a love for art. The money raised from the festival goes towards providing scholarships for art camps during the summer.
Over the next few weeks organizers and decorators will be putting the trees together.

Volunteers are more than welcome to drop in and lend a hand.

The Festival of Trees will open November 22.

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