• 72°

O CHRISTMAS TREES: Beautiful branches, decorated by locals, adorn Johnson Center

The Christmas Tree Extravaganza at the Johnson Center for the Arts has become a holiday tradition over the eight years that it has been a featured Christmas event at the Troy arts center.

A 20-foot Christmas tree is the focal point of JCA’s upper gallery where the merriment of the Christmas season is displayed on “boughs so green in summertime” that “stay bravely green in wintertime.”

“The Christmas tree is a widely recognized symbol of Christmas,” said Wiley White, JCA exhibition coordinator. “The Christmas Tree Extravaganza is one of our most popular exhibits. Nine trees are decorated with ornaments made by students from the local schools. The decorated trees are the students’ versions of the spirit of Christmas. The handmade ornaments express their feeling about Christmas. There is something magical about a Christmas tree and, when kids make the tree decorations, they are wonderfully done. Children can make something gorgeous out of a little of nothing.”

Each year, students in all schools all across the county are invited to decorate a tree for the Christmas Tree Extravaganza.

“The 20-foot Christmas tree was decorated by the Troy City Schools — Troy Elementary and Charles Henderson middle and high schools,” White said. “This year, the theme for the Troy City Schools’ tree is Sweet Treats. The ornaments highlight many of the holiday season’s favorite edible goodies – lollipops, candy canes and even chocolate cake – all things that are good and fun to eat.”
The theme for the Goshen schools tree is “Christmas in the Pines.”

“All of the ornaments on the Goshen Christmas tree are made from natural items that can be found in the forests, giving the tree a very woodlands look,” White said.

The Banks Schools Christmas tree decorations were sports themed with each student’s interest in or slant on sports colorfully expressed.

Pike County High School and Elementary School used popsicle sticks to make all of their ornaments.

“The ornaments are creative and innovative and you can imagine the students enjoyed finding different ways to use popsicle sticks to create a Christmas symbol,” White said.

Pike Liberal Arts School did not decorate a JCA Christmas Tree this year but one student volunteered to do so.

Jensen Garrett’s family sponsors the Troy Piggly Wiggly tree and Jensen decorated the tree with white rose ornaments and themed it “The White Rose of Christmas.”

Other Christmas Tree sponsors are Troy Cable, KW Plastics and Horn Beverage.

“In the Tile Gallery, we have a Christmas Tree that is decorated with Chrismons, which are Christian symbols that help people remember that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birthday,” White said.

The Christmas Extravaganza can be viewed during regular JCA hours, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and until 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The Johnson Center for the Arts will be open at a special time, at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 4 prior to the City of Troy’s Annual Christmas Parade. The community is invited to visit the JCA before going to the parade and view the beautiful Christmas trees and also the pottery exhibit in the Kirk Gallery in the upper gallery area.

There will also be a display of nutcrackers for the enjoyment of people of all ages.

The Johnson Center for the Arts is located at 300 East Walnut Street in downtown Troy. Admission is free.