Christmas wreath exhibition prepares for reveal next weekend

With the holiday season fast approaching, decorations are landing in people’s homes as they begin to fill their homes with holiday cheer. Christmas trees usually get the focus of the holiday, but one decoration is receiving special attention from Sycamore Shoals State Park this year.

The Sycamore Shoals State Park has been running Christmas decoration exhibitions for years, but they only switched from Christmas trees to wreaths seven years ago.

“We ended the trees when we redid the museum,” secretary Leslie Brockley said. “There simply was not enough room.”

Brockley said the exhibition runs alongside the Art League Show.

The exhibition includes special lampposts on which to hang the wreaths spread out all over the museum and other parts of the main building.

In the past, the park has averaged between 10 and 12 wreath submissions from the community.

Despite common tradition holding wreaths should be hung outside, Brockley said doing that in a wildlife park would not be a good idea.

“Part of our job is to protect the wildlife,” she said. “Animals could get caught in the tinsel or choke themselves in the ribbon.”

This is part of their motivation behind the small set of rules surrounding wreath submissions. Every piece of the wreath, including the wreath itself, must be artificial. No part of the display can have the potential to degrade or rot over time.

As for decoration ideas, Brockley said they collaborate themes with the Carter County Chamber of Commerce. This year’s parade’s theme is Christmas stories, so the park also wants their wreaths to share the same theme.

“My favorite right now is one with Charlie Brown,” she said. “Though I may be a little biased. I really liked that show.”

Brockley said she hopes the exhibition gets people in the mood for the holidays.

“It gets me into the Christmas spirit,” she said. “[The exhibition] is a good way to celebrate the holidays.”

She said another benefit of the exhibition is the name recognition for companies and organizations who submit wreaths. Another rule is each wreath must have a small card detailing who made the submission.

Brockley said the exhibition itself will start either Sunday, Nov. 28, or Monday, Nov. 29, and will run until December 17. Participants can pick up applications at the park’s main office, though she said she is working on an online application method through their website as well.

“We’re waiting for the wreaths to come in,” Brockley said.

Brockley said she hopes the exhibition can give others the holiday spirit, to spread a little bit of cheer.

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