FULTON, NY – The Parade of Trees at the John Wells Pratt House Museum is a fun and festive welcoming for the holiday season in Fulton each year.
For roughly 35 years, The Parade of Trees has brought community residents, businesses, and organizations together to celebrate the holidays with a decorating contest among several colorful, creative displays of Christmas trees.
This year, 17 trees were submitted to the Pratt House each decorated with a different theme.
“It was a wonderful turnout this year! The trees are all different, none have the same theme and they are all amazing in their own way,” said Friends of Fulton History, Inc. board member, Cindy Bickford.
The annual Parade of Trees kicked off with a punch party on Nov. 27 that “packed the house” complete with a visit from Santa Claus, a Christmas performance by the Marionette Magic Theatre, cookies and punch, and lots of voting for guest’s favorite tree, according to Bickford.
The Pratt House then became voting grounds for the next two weeks as the public was welcome to visit each day to tour the house and all the trees, voting for their favorites in each of four categories: adult, youth, children, and business.
We had a very steady stream of voters,” Bickford said. “We have a few classes from some of the elementary schools that bring the students over to take a tour of the house and then vote for their favorite tree. The kids love it, they just absolutely love it.”
And as of December 9, as voting closed, each of the 2,246 total votes was tallied to determine the winners.
First place in the adult category was awarded to Oswego Industries, for its Father Christmas theme.
First place in the youth category was awarded to the Fulton Library Reading Room for its Candyland theme.
And first place in the children’s category was awarded to First Step Universal Pre-K at Volney Elementary School for its gingerbread theme.
Each of these first place winners received the grand prize, a check for one hundred dollars.
Second place in the adult category was awarded to Fulton Women’s Club for its Make A Wish theme.
Second place in the youth category was awarded to Mrs. Thompson’s class at G. Ray Bodley High School for the “chillin” penguin theme.
Second place in the children’s category was awarded to Noah’s Nursery School for its Polar Express theme.
Each of these winners received the second place prize, a check for $75.
Third place in the adult category was awarded to Towpath Towers Seniors for its handmade Christmas theme.
Third place in the youth category was awarded to Ms. Galini’s fourth grade class at Lanigan Elementary School for its Haudenosaunee Peace Tree theme.
Third place in the children’s category was awarded to Mrs. Long’s kindergarten and first grade classes from Lanigan Elementary School for its Under the Sea theme.
Each of these winners received the third place prize, a check for $50.
In the business category, first place was awarded to Artistree for its art theme and second place was awarded to Uniforms Etc. for its I Love NY theme.
While the business category winners receive no monetary prize, they are awarded a certificate of appreciation.
Other trees submitted to the Parade of Trees included Friends of Camp Hollis, ARC of Oswego County, Fulton Mills Apt. Assoc., ARISE, OCO-Pinewood Head Start, Mrs. Long’s kindergarten and first grade class at Fairgrieve Elementary School.
As a registered drop off location for Toys for Tots, Bickford said the overflowing basket filled with new, unwrapped gifts to benefit local children who won’t receive much or anything at all for Christmas was more than they expected.
“We can’t believe how full it is, it truly warms our hearts to be able to collect these gifts,” Bickford said.
The Parade of Trees is an annual, interactive holiday celebration in Fulton.
If you are interested in learning more, visit the John Wells Pratt House Museum located at 177 S. First St. or call (315) 598-4616.