Currier & Ives Village is the centerpiece of Rockwell Museum Festival of Trees

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

ROCKWELL — The Historic Rockwell Museum is presenting its annual Festival of Trees and Village this year for an extended exhibit Friday through Dec. 15.

The festival opening will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday with the lighting of the town tree, caroling, and a visit from Santa Claus.

Hours will be 6-8 p.m. weekdays; 1-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Saturdays; and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. The museum is at 111 E. Main St. (N.C. 52) in Rockwell, next to the gazebo.

Admission is free but donations will be accepted. Groups can be accommodated at other hours by contacting Rockwell Town Hall at 704-279-2180 or Mallory Allen at 704-798-1496.

The festival has been presented annually since 2000. Each year since 2008, Mallory Allen has created a village display. For the 10th anniversary of the village this year, the theme is Currier & Ives’ “American Winter.”

The first village also featured her Currier & Ives collection, but since then she’s added many more buildings. She included two model trains in this re-creation of scenes from prints by Currier and Ives.

“I use a bit of artistic license, but many of the scenes are very close to the prints on which they are based,” says Allen.

Not counting research and initial layout design, but once she starts “whacking Styrofoam,” she spends as much as 300 hours constructing a village.

This year’s village is the largest yet, over 100 square feet.

Over the summer, Allen and her husband, Walt, redesigned and built a new base platform and electrical substructure.

“I designed and he built, mostly,” she says.

The wider base will enable her to create railroad track layouts with more variety.

“There will be a train again next year, when the theme will be ‘Christmas in the Old West.’ I’m already in the planning stages for Village 2018,” she said.

The Festival of Trees has 13 trees this year, decorated by local civic groups, churches, schools, businesses and individuals. The live trees are donated to needy families when the exhibit ends.

Participating this year are:

• Lindy Lou’s Re-Doos of Rockwell.

• Grace Lower Stone Reformed Church of Rockwell, with the theme “Golden Treasures.”

• Bethel Baptist Church Awanas of Rockwell.

• Rockwell Elementary School.

• Red Hat Brigade of Rockwell.

• Rockwell Lions Club.

• Ursinus United Church of Christ of Rockwell, “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.”

• Rockwell United Methodist Church Girl Scouts.

• April’s All About Hair.

• Ebenezer Lutheran Church of China Grove, “Communion.”

• Carolina Stalite Co. of Gold Hill, “Traditional Christmas.”

• Farrington’s Hauling of Gold Hill, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

• Laura Bartlett of Rockwell, “Welcome Christmas.”

Carolina Stalite Corp. and Laura Bartlett will donate their ornaments to the families that receive the trees.