San Joaquin County Historical Museum hosted the 30th Festival of Trees at Micke Grove Park in Lodi over the weekend.
The festival, which is one of the biggest events in the museum’s calendar, has over 70 Christmas trees that are submitted, sponsored and decorated by the members of the community and different community organizations, said Evan Hust, the museum’s director of development.
The three-day event began Friday with Senior Preview Day — a day specifically for older adults. “We had a great senior turnout, and they were all thrilled,” said Linda Derivi, vice president of the museum’s board of trustees.
“We also have kids’ activities that are inspired by our pioneer school programs,” Hust said. The activities included hand-dipping a candle, making a tin-punched ornament, decorating cookies, taking a picture with Santa, and more.
While the festival goers enjoyed a bit of the sun on Day 1, rain took over on the second day, with everyone packed in rain gear. 2-year-old Josue Perez hummed “Jingle Bells” under an umbrella as his mother Pina Jurado walked him over to the tin-punched ornament booth in the rain. “He learned the song just today at the entertainment stage,” Jurado said. “There were tap dancers. He was dancing with them, and he stole the show.”
For some attending the festival, coming out to the event was becoming an annual tradition. Becky Scholl attended the festival for the second year in a row with her daughter and 5-year-old granddaughter. “It was wonderful. We did everything from making rag dolls to trying food at the tearoom,” Scholl said. “This is turning into an annual tradition now.”
Harika Maddala is a photojournalist based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. They are a Report for America corps member and a CatchLight Local Fellow.