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The Scarlet & Black

Festival of Trees brightens up downtown Grinnell

Photo by Kosuke Yo

By Louise Carhart and Teresa Fleming,

If you’ve walked in downtown Grinnell since Thanksgiving break ended, you might have noticed the decorated Christmas trees that have sprung up. As part of the Festival of Trees, they were decorated by various groups and businesses around Grinnell and will be on display for most of the holiday season. This year, the Festival of Trees in downtown Grinnell was held outside, moved from its previous spot at Drake Library. Louise Carhart and a team of experts were dispatched to the downtown area to praise and critique some of Grinnell’s most treasured trees.

Saints Rest Tree

This tree plays up on Saints Rest’s spot as the premier coffee shop in Grinnell. Decorated with a red and white color scheme, the tree features original Saints Rest coffee cans printed with the names of various roasts. Festive green and red garlands add a variety of colors, while a sheer red ribbon truly wraps this tree up. Great work by one of our favorite downtown haunts!

Temp Associates

One of the team’s personal favorites, this tree truly makes use of the medium. Incorporating many strains of Christmas cheer, the tree is decorated as an imposing but friendly snowman. Blending together the troupes of Frosty and Rockefeller Center in a nuanced commentary on our intersectional world, the snowman tree is brought together by a friendly face adorned with a jolly plaid scarf and even includes large black buttons. White sticks act as the arms and really bring together this coniferous creature!

Bates Flowers by DZyne

Just as Bates Flowers and Flowers by DZyne combined to create a single downtown floral destination, so too did the various disparate elements of this tree come together in a mélange of holiday spirit. Accented with red and gold patterned ribbons, this tree brings to mind traditional December celebrations. With so many bows on the tree, you might not even need to wrap the presents beneath! The strings of pearly silver beads truly bring elegance to this dressed up diva.


This truly sparkles with a frosty aura. Covered in gold and silver, it recalls the Snow Queen of Narnia fame. Just as her castle sparkles with the statues of hundreds of frozen Narnians, this tree makes use of unconventional ornaments in spectacular display. A golden ribbon winds through the branches and as our team of experts approached the tree glittering flakes began to fall from the heavens. A true Genesis of winter indeed!

Photo by Kosuke Yo
Photo by Kosuke Yo

Grinnell College

A large ornament tops this tree off in a festive explosion of color. Taking a funky turn, white ribbon is wrapped around the tree on a diagonal, as opposed to the more common horizontal angle. Sizable balls are scattered across this conifer while an Honor G rests against the front. You’d think given the size of our endowment, we wouldn’t have to overcompensate!

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    Jeff Dickey-ChasinsDec 2, 2016 at 8:47 am

    ACtually, this article is wrong. The Festival of Trees is being held tonight, Friday, starting at 5:30 in Drake Community Library. Come down and check out the decorated trees, the Middle School choir, band, and lots of other fun stuff!!