By Bridgette Waldau
Photography by Shirley Palmer and Pam Peppers

OKMS Festival of Trees Committee: Kathy Scott, Angie Griffin, Bridgette Waldau, Sharie Turgeon and Marion Heddsheimer. (Not pictured: Shirley Palmer and Pam Peppers)

In their new home, Okeechobee Main Street held their annual Festival of Trees event on Nov. 21 at 111 NE Second Street. This well-attended event featured a silent auction of donated Christmas trees and holiday décor. A portion of the proceeds was donated to Hospice of Okeechobee, Inc.

The silent auction began in the afternoon from 2 pm-5 pm with a free preview of the trees and decorations. The Festival of Trees party began at 6 pm with attendees enjoying the holiday decorations in the beautifully renovated building. Everyone had fun bidding on their favorite items, while enjoying time with friends and business associates. An abundance of donations filled the rooms. which included twelve full size trees, numerous tabletop trees, wreaths, gift baskets, centerpieces and a handcrafted quilt.

All the items donated showed all the hard work and dedication by businesses and individuals, and because of their efforts the attendees were generous with their bids, making this event very successful.

Christmas mask winners: Three-way tie for first – Jennifer Busbin, Faith Nielson and Connie Williams; 2nd place award went to Melisa Jahner (pictured second from left)

The event promoted CDC health protocol. A quaint outdoor social distancing area was provided, and a Christmas Mask Contest took place to encourage mask wearing by attendees. Masks winners received the coveted masked gnome trophy and each won a free one-year Arts & Culture Alliance membership.

Kicking off the holiday season, the event was also the introduction of Okeechobee Main Street’s new home and the Arts & Culture Alliance Art Center, featuring two art galleries, art class & workshop area and a gift store. The Arts & Culture Alliance Art Center will be a place to promote the arts and create an environment for artists to develop, collaborate and showcase their work. Membership is open to artists and those who have an appreciation for the arts.

To see all the Holiday items from the Festival of Trees and also learn more about Okeechobee Main Street and the Art Center, go online to, or call 863-357-6246. Next year’s Festival of the Trees will be held Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.