The calendar said Sept. 28, but inside the Albany Historic
Carousel & Museum, you could practically hear Santa's
Linn County Rocks and carousel staff members teamed up to offer
four craft days this fall, two for rock-painting and two for
visitors to paint Christmas ornaments for the Sweet Home Ranger
The station is collecting some 10,000 ornaments for both the
main Christmas tree and companion trees that will be put up in
Washington, D.C., this holiday season. The deadline for submission
was Oct. 1.
This year's Capitol tree hasn't
yet been chosen but is coming from the Willamette National Forest,
and likely from the Sweet Home Ranger District.
The winning tree will be announced at a ceremony on Nov. 2. It
will then retrace the Oregon Trail in reverse on its way to
Washington, traveling more than 3,000 miles and arriving Nov. 28. A
formal lighting ceremony will be held in early December.
Jennifer Tyner said she's always looking for family activities.
The idea of joining in a nationally recognized effort helped prompt
her to travel from Stayton to visit her daughter, Kelcie Tyner, in
Albany and bring everyone to the carousel.
"I got super excited and told them, you're all going. The whole
family's going," she said. "I think it's really cool that Oregon
has the tree and the ornaments."
Ornament painters could choose from three sizes of round wooden
ornaments to paint. The largest will go on the Capitol tree and the
smaller ones will go on companion trees.
Artists were asked to follow an Oregon or Christmas theme. Cathy
Rackham of Albany looked up Pinterest ideas before deciding on
three small designs: a snowflake, an angel and a Nativity
She smiled at the thought of maybe being able to see her artwork
on national television if anyone at the Capitol pulls in for a
closeup. "I think that's so amazing," she said. "Isn't that
Artists turned in more than a hundred ornaments Sept. 28 and
probably close to that many at the first painting party two weeks
before, said Nisa McVay of Linn County Rocks.
Using acrylic paints provided by the carousel, or sometimes
taking ornaments home to provide their own touches, contributors
expounded on a variety of Northwest and holiday themes:
lighthouses, covered bridges, Douglas firs, sea stars, snowmen,
wreaths, candy canes and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. At least
two ornaments featured careful renderings of the carousel building
Evie Baker, 12, of Corvallis outlined a stylized flower similar
to a poinsettia, while Paul Napper, visiting family in Springfield
from his home in Michigan, used his thumb to blend white foam into
Timberlee Leslie of Albany outlined a mountain scene. "My
11-year-old painted it black and decided she was done, so I had to
do something," she joked.
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Written by Jennifer Moody