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A holiday tradition

The Festival of Trees is a collection of art pieces where North Platte community businesses, nonprofits and individuals donate and decorate a Christmas-themed item. It can be anything from a tree, to table centerpieces and settings, to wreaths and other Christmas decor. Many of the pieces have themes such as sports teams, popular Christmas movies and everything in between.

This event was started several years ago by Darrell Drullinger and Alan Perlinger as a way to bring families together during the holiday season and raise funds for the community’s nonprofits. Initially it was held at a local hotel as a holiday event and fundraiser for the Miss Nebraska Pageant.

The exhibit will be open Nov. 16-20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Courtesy photo

About five years ago, it was relocated to the Prairie Arts Center at 416 North Jeffers Street. This year it will be held Nov. 15-20. Admission is free and the public are invited to come walk through the displays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, Nov. 20, Santa Claus will be making an appearance and welcomes pictures with kids of all ages. Parents are welcome to take their own pictures, or Prairie Arts Center employees can take pictures and print them for $5.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, Santa Claus will be making an appearance and welcomes pictures with kids of all ages. Courtesy photo

The Prairie Art Center is a nonprofit that provides opportunities for creative self-expression through exhibits, art classes, concerts and community events. The Prairie Arts Center is in a 1913 restored Post Office Building and boasts a beautiful Italian Renaissance structure. The building was restored in 2008, after it was acquired by the Creativity Unlimited Arts Council. Today the Prairie Arts Center’s mission is to create a cultural legacy in western Nebraska. General admission to the center is free and it is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Gateway Reality has partnered with Prairie Arts Center and created an online bidding auction for each of the Festival of Trees’ displays. The auction will be held online Nov. 16-20. The trees are fully decorated and ready to be placed in your home or business. Depending on the theme of the tree, you may be getting more than just the tree.

The pinnacle of the Festival of Trees week is a Gala Celebration that starts at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20. There will be a cocktail party with a cash bar and snacks, Christmas music and the winning bidders will be announced. For the lucky winners, shipping is available, or if you’re present, employees will help you wrap your new decoration to get it safely to its destination.

It’s a great place to get ideas for decorating your home, whether or not you’re the winner of these gorgeous pieces. Courtesy photo

Whether you are a winner or not, the Festival of Trees is a great place to get ideas for decorating your home or business.

This year’s profits will be split between Prairie Arts Center and Lincoln County CASA. CASA (court-appointed special advocate). According to it’s website, CASA supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so children who have experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive.To find out more about CASA, go to

For more information about the Festival of Trees, visit, email Holly Carlini, executive director of the Prairie Arts Center, at holly@prairieartscenter.og or call (308) 534-5121.

-Pagel is a Kansas farmer, who grew up on a cow/calf and row crop operation and married into another.

The Festival of Trees brings the community together and creates opportunities for nonprofits to continue operating. Courtesy photo

The Festival of Trees is a collection of art pieces created and donated by the community. Courtesy photo


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