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Blennerhassett Museum shows Christmas spirit with tree display

By WAYNE TOWNER

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va.  — The Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History is hosting an exhibit of Christmas trees decorated in the holiday traditions of different countries and themes through Dec. 22.

The opening reception for the annual Trees of Our Heritage Christmas tree exhibit was held Sunday at the museum at Second and Juliana streets in downtown Parkersburg.

ather Christmas was portrayed in his Victorian costume by Eybie Eyberg during the Trees of Our Heritage opening reception Sunday at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History.
(News and Sentinel photo by Wayne Towner)

Cousins Carla Knapp, of Grove City, Ohio, and Karen Knapp, of Parkersburg, attended the reception Sunday for the first time.

“It’s wonderful, it makes me want to go back to those days, before technology, before the fast-paced environment that we’re living in. It’s just a gentle reminder of the good days,” Carla Knapp said.

About 40 decorated trees are featured in the exhibit, which is sponsored by the Friends of Blennerhassett and the museum. The Christmas trees were decorated by various groups and volunteers with ornaments representing some of the many countries of origin of the people who have settled in America.

Photo by Wayne Towner The Vienna Elementary Choir performs Sunday at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History during the opening reception for the Trees of Our Heritage Christmas tree display.

Photo by Wayne Towner The Vienna Elementary Choir performs Sunday at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History during the opening reception for the Trees of Our Heritage Christmas tree display.

Some of the places represented include Africa, Australia, the Caribbean Islands, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Canada, China, Japan and others.

There are also some special theme trees representing the Victorian era, the colonial and pioneer eras, the spirit of Christmas, and others.

Tom Perdue, chairman of the Trees of Our Heritage exhibit, said this year’s display features several new trees. A group of about 20 volunteers came in last Monday to set up all of the trees.

“We have different people decorate different trees each year, so it’s always something different,” he said.

Sunday’s reception included live entertainment from Pamela Salisbury, the Vienna Elementary Choir, the Smoot Barbershop Singers and the Parkersburg High School Chamber Ensemble. Refreshments were provided by the Friends of Blennerhassett, there were crafts for children and a visit with Father Christmas in Victorian garb.

Photo by Wayne Towner About 40 Christmas trees decorated in the traditions of various countries and themes are on display through Dec. 22 at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History in downtown Parkersburg.

Photo by Wayne Towner About 40 Christmas trees decorated in the traditions of various countries and themes are on display through Dec. 22 at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History in downtown Parkersburg.

The trees will remain on exhibit in the museum through Dec. 22. The museum also features a video about the Blennerhassetts and the history of the island. Exhibits relating to Parkersburg and the Ohio Valley are on display from early ancient to 20th century relics. The museum is open year-round.

For more information call the museum at 304-420-4800. Regular museum admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 3-12. The museum and its gift shop are open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

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