Beginning in 2001, the Knights of Columbus Museum invites Connecticut Catholic schoolchildren to craft ornaments and decorate one of its two dozen Christmas trees, which are displayed in combination with the museum’s annual crèche exhibition.
Elementary school students from the participating schools, as part of their classroom and art instruction, make tree ornaments and trim to complement the theme of the Christmas exhibition. They visit the Museum during the week following Thanksgiving to decorate the trees. The 2017 theme is: Peace on Earth.
The unique display showcases the students’ imagination and talents. It also helps them to understand the common heritage they have in celebrating Christmas with different people and nations, as well as to learn distinct customs and traditions in other regions of the world.
In a judging that followed the students’ handiwork, first-place honors for the 17th annual Christmas Tree Festival was awarded to St. Joseph School in Bristol. St. Peter School in Danbury received second place and St. Francis-St. Hedwig School in Naugatuck took third place. Honorable mention went to St. James School in Stratford and All Saints School in Norwalk. Winners receive a donation from the museum for educational supplies or equipment.
The decorated trees will be on display through January 28, 2018. Visitors are invited to cast a vote at the museum for the “People’s Choice” Christmas tree, to be awarded at the close of the show.
Participating schools included, in order of their trees: