The ‘Walk’ is back

MARSHALL – The Lyon County Museum was an exciting and busy place to be Saturday as countless people of all ages filtered in to check out the Christmas Tree Walk and Holiday Craft Fair.

The Lyon County Historical Society and Museum board members were pleased to be able to bring back the Christmas Tree Walk after a four-year hiatus.

“My husband Neal is the Lyon County Historical Society president and we were just brainstorming how to involve the community and give back to the community as kind of a thank you for the support of the museum,” Nancy Ingebrigtson said. “We thought this was a way we could do that. We’d heard a lot of people liked the Christmas Tree Walk and missed it, so this is our way of giving back.”

Along with museum Director Jennifer Andries, the Ingebrigtsons brought the idea to the board and found much-appreciated support there.

“Everybody thought it was a good idea, so we just went for it,” Nancy Ingebrigtson said. “Then everybody pitched in. And because we’ve had other things on the second floor, because there’s no exhibit up there currently, we thought it was an area we could utilize over the holidays. We’re excited to have people come in. An event like this bridges a lot of generations together.”

Andries noted that the Christmas Tree Walk would stay open until New Year’s Day and that people could still vote for their favorite up until that time.

“We have wrapped presents by each tree for people to vote,” she said. “It’s a money-voting process, so people can vote with change or dollar bills. Whoever’s box has the most money, that organization will win a prize. And the money will go toward the museum, for remodeling and installing exhibits on the second floor.”

Andries is hopeful that the event will continue in the future, especially since it appeared to be a hit.

“It’s been going well,” she said. “There’s a lot more people here than we expected. There’s been a lot of families and kids. We’ve also had a lot of positive comments for the Museum, which is great. A lot of people haven’t been in here since we opened.”

After years of searching for an appropriate location that included enough space, museum organizers believe they’ve found their permanent home. Since moving into it current Lyon Street location in the fall of 2012 and having its grand opening in May 2013, organizers have continued to work toward completion.

“Once we get the second-floor exhibits done, we can spread the trees throughout the entire museum,” Andries said. “It’ll still be awhile. We’re currently working on the log cabin in the basement.”

With Andries’ help, Ingebrigtson sent out registration forms to businesses and organizations in the county, offering some trees on a first come, first serve basis. Then, people gradually came in and decorated at their own pace.

“There was no theme, so they’re really unique,” Ingebrigtson said. “They just designed the trees to represent their own organization or business. We were hoping for 25 trees and that’s what we got. And we’re hoping to expand in years to come.”

The Boulder Estates tree included dominoes, playing cards and miniature Bingo cards as ornaments, while the Eco Water display included empty water bottles and paper filters. The Marshall Delightful Red Hatters tree, with its purple and red decorations, was large and caught the attention of a lot of people.

Energetic Marshall 6-year-old Josiah Thoreson selected the Shades of the Past tree, with its toy cars, map ornaments and spark plugs as decorations, as his favorite.

“I like that one the best because it has lots of cars and cool stuff,” Thoreson said. “I like the trees.”

Appropriately enough, Bend Rite’s tree display included steel ornaments, while the Thrifty White Pharmacy tree included syringes, empty pill containers with lights inside, pill boxes and a gauze tape star. The Blue Green tree had a variety of floral and pine cones in multiple sizes, while the Schwan Food tree included stuffed swans, Red Baron planes and ice cream cone ornaments.

Mandy Christenson’s children – Caitlyn, Aftyn and Lincoln – enjoyed the puppets that were part of United Way’s “Live United” tree.

“The trees are very creative,” Christenson said. “Someone’s mind is much more creative than mine. They’re pretty neat.”

City Looks and Cost Cutters joined forces to create a beautiful, soft look for its display, featuring a white Christmas tree with pastel ribbon and glittery ornaments – hairdryers, mirrors and more. Two groups – Marshall Women of Today and Pretty and Plump Purses – used waist-high mannequins as trees.

“This is fantastic,” Irma Vroman of Amiret said. “The trees are all so pretty.”

A number of the trees were decorated using the artistic creations of young children, including the Marshall ECFE and Little Cubs Preschool and MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).

“MOPS organizers approached us and asked if they could do their craft show here,” Andries said. “I told them we were opening the tree walk (Saturday) and they thought that would be a good day to have their craft show, so we tied it together.”

Heather Gniffke organized the silent auction, bake sale and craft show and noted that the proceeds from those would go to MOPS.

“We’re hoping to raise money for MOPS,” Gniffke said. “It’s fun to get together with other moms.”

Gniffke organized more than 40 vendors, which were located on the first and second floor of the museum, for the craft show.

“I had to turn some down because we didn’t have any more room,” she said. “It think the day turned out amazing. It’s great for the community to come in and see the trees, museum and the vendors.”