The Festival of Trees at the John Paulding Historical Society begins this Friday with a supper from 5-7 p.m., prepared by the Paulding Senior Center. Saturday will open with a children’s movie, The Polar Express. The festival will also include meals, crafts, a candlelight stroll through the decorated trees, a display of Christmas wreaths to be auctioned off, a silent auction and a live Nativity scene. The theme for this year’s festival is “All Aboard the JPHS Christmas Train.”

Shannon Ruschel, one of the coordinators of the festival, reminds people that Saturday mornings would not be the best time to tour the museum and look at the trees. “That time slot is reserved for the kids,” she says. “It will be hectic here. We’re showing The Polar Express both Saturday mornings and want the kids to be able to make noise and enjoy the movie. We even encourage them to wear their pajamas and robes, just like the kids in the movie did. Things will be a lot quieter here later in the day or on the other days we’re open.”

Shannon suggests that parents and children arrive early on Saturday mornings for the movie, as seating will be extremely limited. “Once we’re full, we’re full,” she says. “All the children will need a parent or guardian to sit with them at all times throughout the movie. There will be a light lunch following the movie, and the mouse hunt will be held both Saturdays as well. On the second Saturday, Nov. 13, we will even have a live Nativity scene by the Middle Creek Church Youth. We have a lot of different activities planned and we invite the public to come and enjoy the trees and other decorations in the museum and in Barn 1 and Barn 2. As in years past, Woody the Talking Tree will be here, too.”

Hours and events for the Festival of Trees are as follows:

* Fri. Nov. 5 Museum open 5-8 p.m.; 5-7 p.m. - Supper prepared by the Paulding Senior Center

* Sat. Nov. 6 - Museum open 10:00 a.m. - 8. p.m.; 10:30 a.m.-12:10 p.m. - “The Polar Express” kids’ movie; noon lunch prepared by the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church; JPHS volunteer’s Super Soup Supper 4:30-6:30 p.m.

* Sun. Nov. 7 - Museum open 12-4 p.m.

* Mon. Nov. 8 - Museum open 5-8 p.m.

* Tues. Nov. 9 - Museum open 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.; 6-8 p.m. - Decorate a Christmas Ornament with Lori Sponseller; $7

* Wed. Nov. 10 - Museum open 5-8- p.m.

* Thurs. Nov. 11 - Museum open 5-8 p.m.

* Fri. Nov. 12 - Museum open 5-8 p.m. Candlelight stroll through the trees followed by light refreshments

* Sat. Nov. 13 - Museum open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; 10:30-12:10 - “The Polar Express” kids’ movie; light lunch available 12-2:00 p.m.

The Festival of Trees is the museum’s largest fundraiser of the year and all proceeds are used for operating costs of the all-volunteer organization. Admission to the festival is free but donations are always accepted and appreciated. Shannon says, “Don’t forget! There’s still time to jump on board and enjoy the 2021 Festival of Trees. We hope to see you here!”