An Event With Real Christmas Spirit

By now, you’ve experienced the beginning of Christmas shopping, with all the retail promotions, the decorations at the mall, and the first appearances of Santa Claus. If you’re weary of holiday commercialization and long for a down-to-earth, nostalgic Christmas experience, you may be delighted to learn about the Festival of Trees.

This family holiday event will be held Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum, located in Micke Grove Park, in the south end of Lodi, about one mile west of Highway 99 off Armstrong Road. Docents dressed in vintage Victorian and pioneer clothes will make those attending feel as though they have stepped back in time to celebrate Christmas.

Saturday and Sunday, the museum buildings will be brimming with more than sixty festive trees, each decorated according to a unique theme by individuals and groups from throughout San Joaquin County. The festival also features charming exhibits, model trains, and entertainment.

For children, there will be many hands-on activities, including decorating cookies, making cornhusk dolls, dipping candles, and punching tin ornaments. There is a nominal fee of one to two dollars for children to make the crafts. Children also will be able to visit Santa Claus, and families can purchase photographs of their children with Santa.

Tickets are eight dollars for adults and one dollar for children two to ten years old. Children under two are admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the event or in advance by calling the museum at (209) 331–2055 or 953–3460. With advance tickets, the five-dollar parking fee into Micke Grove Park is waived.

Festival of Trees is the Museum’s Docent Council’s only fundraiser of the year. Proceeds from this event help pay for the Museum’s educational youth programs, which include Valley Days and Pioneer School. More than one hundred San Joaquin County classes of third- and fourth-graders participate in these two living history museum programs each year.

For more information, see the Museum Web site at

Christi Weybret manages publicity for the Museum’s Docent Council.

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