The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Drake Library to host Festival of Trees

By Carter Howe

Drake Community Library will hold its annual Festival of Trees on Dec. 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the library. The event allows families, businesses and community organizations to decorate Christmas trees that will be displayed in the library. Event-goers are encouraged to vote for the trees they like with dollar “ballots.” This money is then donated to the Friends of Drake Community Library organization and used to pay for things such as subscriptions to online databases and eBooks, guest speakers and special programming for children.

According to Drake Community Library director Marilyn Kennet, the festival started back when the city’s library was still in the Stewart Library building, which it occupied until 2009. Then, it took place in the veterans’ memorial in Central Park.

“It started that long ago — I don’t have an exact year … but since then it’s become a tradition, and so we’ve just carried on that tradition,” Kennet said.

Since the festival has been held in the Drake Library, it has featured performances from Grinnell school music groups. The event this year will feature performances from the middle school jazz band at 6 p.m. and the high school choral ensemble at 6:30 p.m. Santa Claus will also be present for the duration of the event to hand out candy canes and listen to children’s wishes.

This year’s festival will feature 20 trees, which might be a record, Kennet said. Notable trees to look for include ones from Family Dentistry and the Grinnell Area Arts Council. “Family Dentistry always comes up with a cute idea … to decorate their tree — it’s been different each year,” she said. “The Grinnell Area Arts Council has always come up with unique, creative, special trees, so it’s not necessarily just decorating a[n] artificial on-the-pole tree. They’ll come up with different ways to express a tree.”

Members of the College community can also look for an origami-themed tree decorated by the Grinnell College Libraries.

Though Kennet expects the library will raise around $200 through the dollar voting, she says that the event is ultimately about bringing the community together in addition to just raising money.

“Just a festive time of year to allow individuals and groups to decorate a tree and decorate the library is what it turns out to be because it’s just really pretty, and people like to come to the library to see the trees and just kind of enjoy the festivity of the season,” Kennet said. “It’s kind of a give back to the community.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *