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A Holiday Tradition: It’s More than Trees!

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The first major holiday event at the museum was the Victorian Christmas, put on by the San Joaquin County Historical Museum’s Docent Council beginning in 1989. Docent Lois Hildebrand started the program, thinking it would be a great way to promote the museum. Trees were displayed in the Erickson, Delta, Micke and Hammer buildings at the Museum alongside trees in the Weber Cottage and Calaveras School House.

In 1992, docents Kay Barbour and Marilyn Cook co-chaired the event and changed the event’s look and feel! They rebranded the event as the Festival of Trees. They added a scrip system for paying for crafts, the Santa’s Village and a Friday evening gathering with hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.

Over the years, the museum staff and docents have added to the event. Now, you can find a Christmas raffle, non-denominational exhibits on holiday history, the Butterfly Express train ride, the Music Stage with 12 musical acts, a tractor ride around the museum, the famed Barnyard Bargains Docent Boutique, dozens of craft stations and a complimentary slice of cake!

This year they are celebrating the 30th annual Festival of Trees for the community. If you didn’t make it out this year, December 3 and 4, consider penciling it in for next year!