If you’re looking to launch into the festive cheer, Stirling’s Farmtown Park has turned into a Christmas wonderland for the weekend.
The agricultural museum, which looks like a blast of Stirling’s past with wooden porches, an old general store and an antique gas pump inside its main hall, filled its street with illuminated Christmas trees sponsored by a wide variety of local businesses. Live music played in the background as visitors put their names in boxes under their favourite decorations, hoping to be the lucky winners.
“The admission money and raffle ticket costs go towards maintaining the museum.” said Maraget Grotek, the manager of the park. “We are always looking to develop our ongoing projects and displays, so this is our major fundraiser of the year.”
This is the first year the festival has run for four days instead of three. Grotek said the festival is the biggest one they run, with 200 volunteers throughout the festival. Thursday night was added to kick off the event and deal with the crowds that come to visit the museum. Groteck says they have a lineup of local musicians who have volunteers to play throughout the weekend, including Casey and Ashley Garlick from Sidetracked, Dave Bush and the River Valley Riders, Meaghan Love and Jeff Holmes.
“We have an amazing community here and everyone really comes out to support this event. My volunteer list is completely full and it always is,” said Grotek. “People look forward to this every year.”
Shelley Fritz from Foxboro came with Amanda Osborn from Stirling. Brant said they attend all the Festivals of Trees that happen in the area, and it has become a tradition to go every year.
“I love the festive feel,” said Osborn. “I’ve already put my name in for some beautiful planters and wreaths.”
“We treat it like a girls evening,” added Fritz. “There’s a number of us who enjoy the holidays and it helps us to get into the festive spirit, get to support our community, and if we’re lucky enough to win then we’re giving back and that’s important”
The main “street” of old Stirling is filled with sparkling trees to draw people looking to start in on their festive cheer. Different local businesses help fund the event by sponsoring decorated trees for raffle ticket buyers to hope to win. Photos by Emma Persaud