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If you go
What: Festival of Trees, in which Christmas trees are displayed in the lobbies of Embassy Theatre and Indiana Hotel
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, noon to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Nov. 28
Where: Embassy Theatre, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Admission: Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for children 12 and younger
Schedule: For list of entertainment, activities and special events, go to
Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Jenice Cox adds natural elements to the CDI Choice Designs Children’s Hope tree that will be at the Festival of Trees.

Nature, glamour add interest

Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Weaving poly mesh through the tree helps soften the overall look.

Jennifer Ford is excited for this year’s Festival of Trees at Embassy Theatre.

This is her company’s first year participating in the event, which highlights decorated trees from designers and artists.

Many of the trees displayed at the event, which runs Wednesday to Nov. 28, can give participants ideas for their own trees at home.

Ford, an interior designer with CDI Choice Designs in Fort Wayne, and Rene Hassett, an interior designer at Woodland Designs, offer some decorating tips for making that home tree decorative and memorable.

Ford says there are two trends developing with Christmas trees. One is adding natural elements, and the other is a more glamorous look.

For the natural look, decorate the tree with woods, sticks or flowers. She says anything that will “make the outdoors come inside.” Ford says some people are even adding water features near the skirt of the tree.

Golds, silvers and whites are part of the glamorous look. Purple also is the favorite color this year, getting away from the traditional holiday colors of green and red.

Ford says to stick with white lights for both trends, as colorful lights could battle with decorations. Hassett agrees. She suggests adding twinkling clear lights to the tree for interest.

Hassett, who won first place last year at the Festival of Trees for her Harley-Davidson theme, also says to use a lot of lights for the tree.

Before you decorate the tree, Ford suggests picking a theme. Last year, she did a toy theme for her tree, refashioning her son’s old toys as decorations.

Hassett says to come up with a color theme to help in choosing decorations.

After the lights are on the tree (the first decorating step), she suggests next weaving poly mesh in and out of the tree. The decorative ribbon-type material can help soften the tree, she says.

For a larger tree, Hassett likes to use large ball ornaments, about 6 to 8 inches in diameter, in different colors. She also suggests tree picks, about six different kinds, in colors that match your theme. They can be placed throughout the tree.

Ford says the key thing when decorating is to make it different and memorable.