Community celebrates Christmas at Johnson Center

Published 6:03 pm Monday, November 25, 2013

PHOTO by Jaine Treadwell   A little girl gazes up at the lights and decorations on a tree at the Johnson Center for the Arts Sunday.

PHOTO by Jaine Treadwell
A little girl gazes up at the lights and decorations on a tree at the Johnson Center for the Arts Sunday.

No one can explain the magic of Christmas lights. But there’s no reason to have to explain it. Just enjoy it.

A large crowd gathered at the Johnson Center for the Arts Sunday afternoon for open house and the lighting of the Center’s nine Christmas trees, one of which stands 20 feet tall.

“Every year the Christmas trees are as beautiful as the year before,” said Morgan Drinkard, Center executive director. “The trees are especially meaningful because they are decorated by school children with handmade ornaments. The children are always excited to come to the Johnson Center and see their ornaments on the tree.”

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This year’s trees were decorated by representative groups from the county, city and private schools.

“The Christmas tree exhibition is made possible each year through the generous donations of Spurlock Metals and Terra Cotta,” Drinkard said. “These businesses purchased the Christmas trees for the Johnson Center and stores them for us. Without their support we would not be able to have the Christmas Tree Extravaganza each year.”

The trees are sponsored by KW Plastics, First National Bank, Horn Beverage and the Troy University Alumni Association.

“With their support, the schools are able to decorate a tree,” Drinkard said. “The schools have a theme for their trees.

“The theme for the two Banks School campuses is ‘linking.’ All of their ornaments linked the important things in our lives, things like community and friends. They used a variety of items such as puzzles and social media to make their ornaments.”

Drinkard said Pike County Elementary School’s theme is “Our School is Sweet.”

“Everything on their tree was something sweet – cotton candy, ice cream, lollipops,” she said. “It is a candy land kind of tree.”

Goshen Elementary School’s tree theme is Peace, Love and Courage and honors those who have battled and are battling breast cancer.

Pike Liberal Arts School’s tree is decorated with all recycled ornaments.

“The Troy City Schools decorated the 20-foot Christmas tree and everyone loves to look way up at it,” Drinkard said.

“It’s a huge tree and it takes a lot of ornaments to fill it. The theme for the tree is ‘Peace, Love and Art.”

In addition to the schools’ trees, the Center also has a Chrismon Tree, which is decorated with a variety of Christian symbols, and the Horn Beverage tree.

The public is invited to visit the Christmas Tree Extravaganza during the holidays. Admission is free. The exhibit will close on Dec. 28.

Johnson Center hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and until 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The Center will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.