A Christmas tree decorated by the Smith Family of Antwerp won a prize at the John Paulding Historical Society’s Festival of Trees. (Photo/Courtesy of the John Paulding Historical Society)

PAULDING – The John Paulding Historical Society has named the winners of its recent Festival of Trees and the dates and theme for next year’s event.

The 27th Festival of Trees ran Nov. 4-12 with more than 1,200 people attending.

The Smith Family from Antwerp won the prize for the tree most closely following the theme, “Let Heaven & Nature Sing.” Their stunning creation, in memory of Louise Huebner Smith, was decorated with Christmas sheet music, velvet ribbon with golden musical notes, and natural elements in shades of red, gold and brown. The family members are Donna Snyder, Doris Smith and Donald Smith.

The trees that won for most “votes” by placing money in the jars were St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in the adult category, and Gifted Students group in the youth category.

Winner of the annual Weidenhamer/Borkosky OSU Raffle was John Henry Kauser.

Luke Stoller from Divine Mercy School won first place in the inaugural sixth grade essay contest, “What Christmas Means to Me.”

The event was another huge success this year, thanks to the tree decorators, silent auction donors and bidders, meal sponsors, entertainers, visitors, and the many volunteers who decorated the museum’s three buildings. This is the historical society’s largest fundraiser of the year.

The Festival of Trees committee has chosen dates and a theme for 2023. Next year’s event will be every day from Nov. 3-11 with the theme “A Story Book Christmas.” The historical society welcomes anyone interested in decorating a tree, sponsoring a meal or providing musical entertainment.

The museum will be open Tuesdays through Dec. 13, then close for two months for a winter break. The museum will reopen Tuesday, Feb. 21. The next public events are the annual Wine & Cheese Tasting fundraiser on Feb. 25, and the annual membership meeting on March 5.

Check the museum’s Facebook page facebook.com/jphsmuseum for updates and announcements.

(Information courtesy of the John Paulding Historical Society.)