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Festival of Trees returns to Micke Grove next weekend

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Posted: Sunday, November 26, 2017 7:30 am

Deck the halls? Challenge accepted.

San Joaquin County Historical Museum will welcome the 26th annual Festival of Trees to celebrate the first weekend of December.

The yearly festival channels 19th century charm, with festive decor throughout the museum grounds. Docents in vintage pioneer and Victorian clothing guide visitors through the museum's historic buildings - including Weber Cottage - and special holiday-themed exhibits.

More than 60 trees, decorated by individuals and groups from throughout San Joaquin County, will fill the eight exhibit buildings with Christmas cheer.

For children, hands-on activities will include making rag dolls, decorating cookies, dipping candles, making punched tin ornaments and other pioneer-era crafts. There is a nominal fee of $1 to $3 to make the crafts.

Children also will be able to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, and families can purchase photographs of the visit.

Volunteers will demonstrate how to make a child's toy using woodturning, and there will be an extensive model train layout.

Vendors will sell unique handcrafted items, and docents will sell a variety of handcrafted wares in the Docent Boutique. Food trucks will visit the grounds to offer up meals and treats for sale.

There will be entertainment in the Ledbetter Barn both days. Saturday's line-up of local talent includes Ethel Neufeld on the pump organ, the Tiny Tots dancers, the Ukuladyz and Gents ukulele group, the Woodbridge Elementary Choir and square dancing in the barn.

Sunday's entertainment includes Audrey Churchill on saxophone, the Double Blessing gospel quartet, the Heath & Mason Folk Singers, the Caperduck step dancers and a St. Lucia Pageant by a Swedish American Youth Group.

The Stockton Portsmen Barbershop Quartet will roam the grounds while singing Christmas carols.

Seniors have the opportunity for a special preview of the event from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 1.

For a reduced $5 admission price, adults can tour the museum and see the dozens of decorated trees.

The Festival of Trees is the annual docent council fundraiser, which supports youth education programs such as Valley Days, where about 4,200 San Joaquin County elementary school students learn what pioneer life was like.

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