Grade 5 and 6 students from Bernard elementary hang hand-made ornaments on their Christmas tree at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel on Wednesday. A total of 10 trees

Students decorate Festival of Trees

Chilliwack students decorated 10 trees for Coast Chilliwack Hotel's inaugural Festival of Trees which runs from Dec. 1-24.

Walk through the doors of Coast Chilliwack Hotel, and you’ll be stepping into a forest of holiday splendor.

Inside are 11 fresh cut trees – 10 decorated by school children, one by the hotel – with baubles and ribbons and lights and handmade ornaments sparkling and twinkling every which way you turn.

Just as festive trees should.

Coast Chilliwack Hotel is holding its inaugural Festival of Trees from Dec. 1-24; a fundraising initiative to support the local Salvation Army Food Bank.

However, unlike similar tree events in other communities, which typically invite business folk to decorate the trees, Coast Chilliwack Hotel wanted to get the children of the community involved.

Nine elementary schools, including Bernard, Rosedale, East Chilliwack, Evans, FG Leary, McCammon, Tyson, Vedder and Watson were commissioned to decorate 10 trees.

“For the kids, it’s just fun,” said Julia Horn, the people, culture and operations manager for the hotel. “They’re so enthusiastic and they do such a great job.”

On Wednesday morning, a group of students from Evans elementary got into the holiday decorating spirit.

As the aromas of sweet hot chocolate and fresh cut fir trees wafted through the air, the Grade 5 and 6 students crowded around their tree, and put up silver baubles and silver ribbons and handmade dove ornaments sprinkled with silver glitter, while merrily singing holiday classics.

Each dove ornament sparkled with words like creative, trustworthy, honest, kind, positive, artistic, dreamer.

“The theme for our Christmas tree is about what we think beauty is,” said Grade 6 student Emma Donnelly. “Beauty is not just how you look, it’s not just the outside, it’s the inside that matters.”

Watson elementary used peace as the theme for their tree, with handmade peace sign ornaments and a garland made from brightly coloured linked construction paper. Vedder elementary made ornaments out of socks and toques for their tree that will later be donated to the Salvation Army.

For a view of all trees, visit Coast Chilliwack Hotel.

Each tree will be voted on by the community. The class with the most votes will win a pizza lunch.

Admission is free, however donations to the food bank are encouraged.

All trees were donated by Highland L Christmas Tree Farm located in Columbia Valley.

kbartel@theprogress.com

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