The Dubois County Museum kicks off the 2022 Christmas season on Thursday, November 17,, 2022, with its opening of The Festival of Trees. 

The museum will be open from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. to give visitors the opportunity for a free evening to view the sixteen trimmed Christmas trees decorated by representatives from the county communities.

This year the organizers are moving the community trees by the community murals in Room 2 to give viewers more of a chance to learn more about the communities.  Also on display will be about 30 trees the volunteers of the museum have been busy trimming throughout the museum exhibits. 

The Kay Smock Santa Collection will be on display and filling several display cases throughout the museum. The museum plans on having more than half of the 1,000-piece collection on display.

During the evening on November 17, music students of Lauren Popp will be serenading visitors in Room 3 with selections of Christmas music and songs as well as traditional piano pieces played on the white Kimball grand piano. 

Food and refreshments will be available. Prizes will be given away throughout the evening. Visitors will be given opportunities to write their Christmas Memories — maybe the shiny bike you received, a special Christmas treat from your grandmother or a beautiful church service you attended — for our temporary display call, Remembering Christmas. These oral memories are important to the museum and will be saved in our collections after the exhibit is stored away in February. Memories can be submitted throughout the Christmas season and up to February.

Visitors this year are also asked to vote for their favorite decorated tree.  Each tree will have a number displayed near the tree, and visitors are invited to write down the number of their favorite and place their vote in a box in the lobby. Winners will be announced on December 23.  Prizes will be awarded to the top three vote-getters.

Before leaving the museum, be sure to browse through the gift shop. A large variety of stuffed animals, children’s books and toys are available. History buffs will be delighted in the selection of local books on local history.

About the museum

The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m, Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Closed on Monday. 

Admission of $5 per adult, $3 for high school students, and $2 for middle and elementary students is charged. Visitors four and under are free. Those holding a current Dubois County Museum Membership are granted free admission.