TROY — A little yuletide spirit filled the expanse of the Miami County Fairgrounds Merchants Building on Friday, as the annual Christmas tree decorating contest commenced on the 2018 fair’s opening day.
“Cindy Parks and I came up with this event to try and get more people involved with the fair,” said event coordinator Paula Wheaton. “I think it’s unique, because it allows people to be creative. We have several who have come back to do it every year since we started this contest.”
Contestants were given one full hour to decorate their tree, with the opportunity to theme the decorations however they saw fit.
“People bring all their own decorations – we only provide the tree,” Wheaton said. “This year, we’ve done things a little different. Usually judges get to watch people as they decorate their tree, but this year we’re allowing decorating to happen ahead of time. That way, judges don’t know who decorated which tree.”
Along with the Christmas trees, a table-decorating category was also open to contestants with similar rules. A total of seven trees and ten tables were submitted for judging in the contest.
All participants received ribbons and a cash prize for their contributions.
Grand prize awards went to Christa Everett, for her “Starry Night” themed table, and Marylou Hageman, for her “buttons and balls” themed tree. The “junior prize” was also awarded to Cora Moore and Jenna Taylor, age 11, for their beach-themed tree.
“I’m an art teacher, and ‘Starry Night’ has always been one of my favorite paintings,” said winner Christa Everett, who teaches art for Miami East. “I thought it would be easy to present on a table. I was up until 2 a.m. finishing up last night, so it feels pretty good.”
“Many years ago I was in a crafting club and learned how to make the buttons and balls,” said winner Marylou Hageman, who came in second place at last year’s competition. “I had all of those in a box and my grandkids used to come over and decorate with them, so we thought it would be a good theme.”
The Christmas tree decorating contest was sponsored by Piqua Manor, Koverman-Staley-Dickerson Insurance, Adams Greenhouse, Mullen’s Firestone, Eagle Printing & Graphics, Oliver’s Homemade Ice Cream, Clark Show Pigs, Tony Gustin Enterprises, Wheaton Farms, auctioneer Tim Landis, Troy Elevator, and the donations of generous residents throughout the community.
For more information on fair events, visit www.miamicountyohiofair.com.