Annual holiday Festival of Lights warms historic Mt. Pleasant mansion
The Braddock Trail Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, will host its 30th annual Festival of Lights, offering 45 decorated trees for visitors to enjoy in the historic Samuel Warden Mansion in Mt. Pleasant.
Upstairs and down throughout the 132-year-old Victorian house, guests can admire the trees and vote for their favorite.
Officers and members are putting the finishing touches on the decorations, after having spent several weeks cleaning the large home and unpacking storage bins.
“A core group of us still have our knees and hips,” joked Debra Newill, chapter regent.
Individuals, organizations and businesses decorate the trees, often year after year. “Some of it goes from mother to daughter and daughter to grandchildren. It’s a tradition for many families,” Newill said.
“We have one family, she’s been doing this with her four granddaughters for probably 15 years,” said Rosalind Ashmun, chapter registrar.
“They are all unique,” Newill said. “And they are all for sale.”
Between 700 and 800 people typically visit between the two weekends, Newill said. Proceeds benefit the DAR Renovation Project, the officers note.
Angels, bells and Big Bird
Angels of various sizes adorn the top of a piano in the mansion’s aptly named angel room.
Throughout the room, trees stand testament to their decorators’ creativity. Soda can tabs are threaded with ribbons, Popsicle sticks become tiny sleds.
In the bell room across the hall, bells nestle atop a mantle and another piano.
Teddy bears, Santas and outdoor nature themes — owls, skates — make for whimsical trees.
Upstairs in the blue and silver room, trees include one decorated with tiny theater playbills, another dedicated to the Disney film “Frozen,” and another with a red, white and blue patriotic theme.
As a tribute to Sesame Street’s golden anniversary, Ashmun has decorated a bright yellow, 8-foot tree celebrating Big Bird’s 50th birthday. The tree is one that will be raffled off, along with numerous baskets full of prizes.
Themes for trees available for sale in the Santa room include nutcrackers, Harry Potter and books and lanterns, celebrating Mt. Pleasant Area Library’s 80 years of “lighting the path to literacy.”
Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .