By Taylor Boyd
A pandemic isn’t going to stop the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce’s Festival of Trees.
Instead, the chamber came up with a way to hold the traditional staple outside, according to Rebecca Adcock, executive director.
She explained that in years past, organizations participating in the tree festival displayed their entries inside the Patrick County Library.
“People would go and look at the trees” and those who wanted to vote for their favorite placed money into a donation box, selecting their favorite via corresponding slots, Adcock said.
The organization to receive “the most donations is the winner, but all of the money goes to the individual charities,” she said.
This year, the chamber will determine the winner the same way it did with the scarecrow contest, Adcock said, and added the chamber will create “an official entry album on its Facebook page, and however many likes, shares, and comments the trees get will help determine the winner.”
A first-place win will result in $150, second place is $100, and third place is $75, she said.
The entry fee for the event is $20. “The money from that will be used to get election-style signs for entries and for a cash prize,” Adcock said.
The chamber’s Festival of Trees will begin on Dec. 3, Adcock said, and added that is the soft deadline for applications.
As with the Scare Crow Contest, Adcock said entries will be accepted well into the contest.
“It’s just up to the individual organizations to get their trees up, pay their entry fee, and upload the pictures up through our Google form,” she said.
“We want the event to run through” early 2021, she said. “We hope people know and prepare for their trees to be out in the weather all month long.”
Adcock said it is important that trees entered in the contest are visible from the road so “people can walk or drive by and not get on personal property.”
She added the Dec. 3 date was selected as a soft target because “the tree at the Patrick County Courthouse is supposed to be lit Friday, December 4, and then the Christmas Parade and Mistletoe Market will happen on December 5. I was just hoping to get them all up and decorated since we would have people out and about that weekend.”
The contest is open to businesses, churches, homeowners, and organizations.
For more information or to access entry forms, visit patrickchamber.com or call (276) 694-6012.