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Festival of Trees

Among the many specially decorated trees on display during the Newell Festival of Trees on Dec. 1

It’s a vintage and gingerbread Christmas at the Tri-State

The Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center always decorates in some way for the holiday. But this year, there are two specific themes at play in the seasonal décor. The first is gingerbread; the second is vintage Christmas decorations.

The gingerbread theme was inspired by a gift made to the Tri-State by Johanna Meier, who owns and operates the Dolls at Home Museum in Spearfish. In early 2018, she gave the museum her gingerbread house collection. It will be on display in the Visitor Center, beginning Wednesday, December 5.

Longtime museum volunteer Mary Wendt took the lead in sleuthing through area craft sales, second hand store and antiques shops to locate as many coordinating gingerbread items as could be found. With the help of fellow volunteers Sheila West and Charlotte Fladmoe, she trimmed a tree in gingerbread décor and also created small lighted wreaths with a gingerbread centerpiece. The wreaths are displayed throughout the Visitor Center.

Meanwhile, the décor in the museum has taken an old-fashioned theme. Holiday items donated by the Babb family are making a special appearance this year; ornate balls in retro colors hang from trees in the mercantile and “Our Downtown: Belle Fourche through the Years” exhibits. Classic winter figures such as snow-covered skiers and Christmas shoppers have been placed within swags of greenery, red velvet bows and sparkly garland in little groupings throughout the museum.

The vintage décor and gingerbread collection display join a festive exhibit installed in early November: Fairie Houses. This fanciful exhibit includes photos and storyboards about the growing hobby of fairy house building, as well as examples of whimsical fairy houses, on shelves glowing with fairy lights.

Children who visit the exhibit may pick up a take-home packet of puzzles, games and info about fairy houses, or put their name in the drawing for a pastel fairy skirt and wings.

The drawing for the fairy ensemble will take place on Friday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. when the Brass Quintet will provide some pre-show holiday music, followed by the Tri-State Performers production of “The Christmas Goose.” The play performs again on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

Tickets to the play are $2 per person or free with museum membership. The gingerbread collection and décor within the museum can be viewed without charge during the Christmas season.

The Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center is located at 415 Fifth Ave. in Belle Fourche.

Newell Festival of Trees

Wintry weather dampened attendance of the Newell Festival of Trees on Dec. 1, but an undisclosed amount of money was still raised for the Newell Fire Department and Ambulance, although the amount was down slightly from last year, according to festival organizers.

The selection of items auctioned included decorated trees, wreaths and other unique Christmas items.

A silent auction was held for other prizes, including NFL baskets, gift certificates, nativities and more. Ten children in attendance received bikes including a pair of Strider bikes. The event also included a served lunch and a cake walk. Admission, two cans of food per person, benefitted the Newell Food Bank.

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