See a variety of trees during the Festival of Trees.

See a variety of trees during the Festival of Trees.

Festival of Trees begins

November 16 – December 31, 2022 @ Southwest Virginia Museum

The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park presents the 27th Annual Festival of Trees. The Festival of Trees begins Sunday, Nov. 13 and runs through Saturday, Dec. 31. An incredible feat of community creativity and involvement, the Festival of Trees leaves all four floors of the stately Victorian home that houses the museum’s collections lavishly decorated for the holiday season.

The Festival of Trees began as a way to celebrate the holiday traditions of the Victorian era as well as to honor the role that C. Bascom Slemp—the driving force behind the museum becoming part of the Virginia State Park system—played in establishing the American tradition of a “national Christmas tree.” Slemp served as the personal secretary to President Calvin Coolidge and in 1923, a group from the Electrical League and the Washington, D.C. public schools approached him with an idea for a Christmas tree to be erected on the White House lawn. Slemp took the idea to the First Lady, Grace Coolidge, who took up the cause. She recommended that the tree be placed on the ellipse south of the White House, and a tradition was born.

Volunteers from the Southwest Virginia region continue these traditions by decorating holiday trees, mantels, doorwaysand banisters throughout the Southwest Virginia Museum, sharing their creative talents and holiday spirit with all who visit the site. This year, 82 groups contributed their time and talent to create beautiful displays.

Visitors may tour the Festival of Trees through Dec. 31 during regular museum hours Tuesday throughFriday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. There will also be special “night viewings” from 5-8 p.m. on Nov. 25 and 26, and on December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31. Regular admission rates apply, Adults $5, Children 6-12 $3, Under 6 free. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. For more information about the Festival of Trees, contact the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park at (276) 523-1322.

Category: Museums