Festival of Trees and Trains lights up Ashland
ASHLAND -- On the outside, the Paramount Arts Center looks the same as it does year-round, but on the inside, a veritable holiday wonderland awaits guests who make their way into the 28th annual Festival of Trees and Trains, hosted by the Paramount Woman's Association.
The merry event started off on a festive foot Saturday with a performance of "Miracle on 34th Street" by the Paramount Players and a "Cocoa with Santa" event, which easily drew more than 1,000 people to the center before the first day was halfway over, said Michael Mussetter, a volunteer with the event.
Those events, of course, are only temporary distractions from the main event: A theater turned small forest of Christmas trees of all shapes, sizes and themes, encompassed by the largest portable G-model railroad in North America.
"We are always trying to mix things up," Mussetter said. "Just because we have been doing this 27 years doesn't mean that people will keep coming just for that reason. We know we have to keep adding new things to keep it interesting."
With a movie-theme of "A Paramount Holiday On Screen," the festival runs daily through Sunday, Nov. 25 (the Sunday after Thanksgiving) with the sounds, smells and sights of the Christmas season.
Saturday afternoon also included performances from local groups like Heritage Hoedown out of Grayson, Ky.
Beverly Robinson's daughter was one of the performers in the group, and her parental duties brought her to the festival for the first time in her life.
"I've lived here all of my life, but I just never made it out here," she said. "I don't think I realized what a good job they do here, and there is a lot to do here. It's a non-stop show."
The festival lights up again at noon on Sunday, Nov. 18, with performances from the Ashland Regional Youth Ballet, Isaac Stevens, the Advance Methodist Hand Bell Choir and a variety of performances each hour until it closes again at 9 p.m.
The festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day until Sunday, Nov. 25, except for Thanksgiving Day, when it will be open from 4 to 9 p.m.
For more information about the festival, visit www.pacfestival.com.