2014 Christmas Tree Festival offers Italian theme

Each year since 2001, the Knights of Columbus Museum invites Connecticut Catholic schoolchildren to craft ornaments and decorate one of its two dozen Christmas trees, which are on display in union with the museum’s annual crèche exhibition.

Catholic elementary school students from the 24 participating schools, as part of their art instruction, made tree decorations to complement the theme the Museum’s Buon Natale: Creches of Italy exhibition. The students visited the Museum from Dec. 1-5 to decorate the trees.

“The Christmas Tree Festival is such a unique display,” said Museum Director Kathryn Cogan. “It showcases the imagination and talents of our visiting schoolchildren and their teachers. It also carries on the heritage we have in celebrating Christmas and the customs we have in common with people and nations around the world.”

In a judging that followed the students’ work, first-place honors for the 14th annual Christmas Tree Festival went to the tree decorated by third-grade students from St. Catherine of Siena School in Trumbull. Fourth graders from St. Bernadette School in New Haven received second place and fourth graders from St. Lawrence School in Shelton took third place. Honorable mention went to fifth-grade students from St. Joseph School in Danbury and fourth graders from St. Aloysius School in New Canaan.
Winners receive a donation from the museum for educational supplies or equipment.

Other participating schools included:
St. Mark in Stratford (grade 5)
St. Mary in Milford (grade 1)
Blessed Sacrament in Waterbury (grade 4)
St. John the Evangelist in Watertown (grade 5)
St. Bernard in Enfield (grade4)
All Saints in Norwalk (grade 1)
St. Francis/St. Hedwig in Naugatuck (grade 4)
St. Joseph in Meriden (grade 5)
St. Rose of Lima in Newtown (grade 3)
St. Aedan/St. Brendan in New Haven (grade 4)
St. Lawrence in West Haven (grade 3)
St. Vincent de Paul in East Haven (grade 5)
St. Theresa in Trumbull (grade 4)
St. Catherine Academy in Fairfield (mixed grades)
Our Lady of Victory in West Haven (grade 5)
St. James Stratford (grade 4)
Our Lady Star of the Sea in Stamford (grade5)
St. Matthew in Forestville (grade 2)
St. John Paul II in New Britain (grade 4)

The decorated trees will be on display through Feb. 1 and visitors are invited to cast their vote at the museum for the “People’s Choice” Christmas tree award.