CORUNNA — The 26th annual Corunna Festival of Trees, an event that spans two weekends in McCurdy Park with displays and activities throughout both the Corunna Historical Village and the city’s community center, kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6.
The event takes place Dec. 6-8 and Dec. 13-15 in McCurdy Park.
Festivities begin Dec. 6 with the Parade of Lights downtown, as decorative floats, farm equipment, semitrucks, school buses and other displays downtown.
The parade steps off at 6:30 p.m. at the corner of North Shiawassee and West State streets, traveling north on Shiawassee through downtown to Mack Street. The procession then heads west along Mack to Norton Street and proceeds south on Norton back to State.
At the conclusion of the parade, activities shift to McCurdy Park, where the historical village and the community center will be open from 7 to 9 p.m.
Approximately 38 Christmas trees — the majority of them decorated by students from area schools — will fill the community center, according to Festival of Trees committee member Carol Spaniola.
Each tree is sponsored by a local business, Spaniola said, and the cost to sponsor a tree is $100. Out of that, $50 is given to a classroom to purchase decorative supplies and $50 is deposited into the Festival of Trees fund, which contributes to improvements to the community center.
Students from Perry Public Schools, Owosso Public Schools and Corunna Public Schools are decorating trees this year, Spaniola said.
Two unique trees to the festival this year will be the International Tree, which features this year’s foreign exchange students from Owosso and Corunna, and the Sesquicentennial Tree, which includes photographs depicting Corunna’s history as the city celebrates its 150th year.
In addition to the wide array of Christmas trees — and the opportunity to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus — various forms of entertainment will also be offered inside the community center.
Scheduled performances include Ed Crawford Ministries gospel music at 6 p.m. Dec. 7, the Owosso High School madrigals at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 and Asheigh’s Dance Shack at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15.
The community center will host a craft show from 3 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 and a pancake breakfast with Santa Claus from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 14.
Entertainment in Corunna’s Historical Village will include performances by the Sheldon Family Singers, from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7, and Andrew Mandley, from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 14. Both performances will be inside the historic church.
A fireworks display in McCurdy Park commemorating the city’s sesquicentennial will bring the Festival of Trees to a close at 9 p.m. Dec. 15.
Festival of Trees Committee Member Eileen LeCureux described the event as a great community celebration.
“The kids bring their parents to check our their tree and show them their ornaments, and this brings a lot of people into town,” LeCureux said. “And they get to experience the historical village, which isn’t open all of the time, just certain times during the year…It’s a joint effort with everyone and a real joyful occasion.”
City Assessor Merilee Lawson, who coordinates the Parade of Lights and helps decorate the Corunna Historical Village for the occasion, said the hours of hard work are always worth it.
“There are times when I think, ‘Why in the heck am I doing this? This is nuts,’” Lawson said. “But honestly, that first night every year, when I see all of those people and the looks on their faces, I go, ‘This is why you do it.’ You can’t but get a high when you see all of the people.”
Festival of Trees Schedule
Dec. 6 — Parade of Lights, 6:30 p.m.; community center and historical village open, 7 t0 9 p.m.
Dec. 7 — Christmas Craft Show 3 to 9 p.m.; historical village open 6 to 9 p.m.
Dec. 8 — Community center and historical village open 6 to 9 p.m.
Dec. 13 — Historical village open only, 6 to 9 p.m.
Dec. 14 — Breakfast with Santa 9 to 11 a.m.; community center and historical village open 6 to 9 p.m.
Dec. 15 — Community center and historical village open 6 to 8:30 p.m.; sesquicentennial fireworks at 9 p.m.