Yes, boys and girls (of all ages!) there is a Christmas Tree Forest at the International Museum of Art and Science this year.   The only difference is that, due to the pandemic, the museum staff decided to limit the exhibit to ten trees in the adult and family category.  However, it is still a sight to behold as the participants put their hearts and souls into designing and crafting some beautiful trees.

The Christmas Tree Forest is organized annually by the IMAS Guild.  The theme they chose in this pandemic year is “Celebrating Essential Responders”  and entrants found many worthy heroes to honor.  The trees are displayed 10 feet apart in the Welcome Pavilion.
According to Guild Christmas Tree Chair Bertha Garcia “Next year we hope to be back to the usual exhibit with trees decorated by all age categories.”
The Nelson family chose to celebrate the grocery store workers who braved crowds of shoppers looking for toilet paper and nonperishable foods, and worked their arduous shifts while keeping their cool.  Their tree features exquisite little handmade grocery carts, miniature bags of groceries and the friendly faces of the clerks.  Not surprisingly the Nelsons won first prize.
South Texas College won second prize with “Future First Responders,” a vibrant and beautifully designed and decorated tree sure to encourage students and youngsters to consider First Responder as a career.
McAllen Public Library won third prize with “Today’s Heroes,” a colorful celebration of various first responders, such as medical personnel, police, city workers, and teachers.
Judges for this year’s Christmas Tree Forest were photographer Hal Wallace, Talent Scout John Alaniz and local artist Berry Fritz.

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