For the past two weeks, seven holiday inspired trees have been on display at the Battle Mountain Civic Center. Battle Mountain's Chamber of Commerce held a silent auction for each of the trees to raise money for chamber events.
The Festival of Trees was held Nov. 20 through Dec. 2. Each tree was hand-decorated by a different business member of the chamber of commerce. Bidding on the trees started at $20 to $135, depending on how much the business invested into the tree initially.
Chamber of commerce Director Dawn McClary explained that the festival of trees is an opportunity for chamber businesses to decorate a Christmas tree to the civic center. The chamber then auctions the trees during the Christmas craft fair on Dec. 1 and 2.
“We placed silent bid sheets in front of each tree and this year we are starting the bids at a third of the price of what the businesses invested," McClary said. "The funds raised will go back into the chamber of commerce to help us keep putting on events that we do every year.”
McClary expected to have 12 trees this year but worried with the Thanksgiving holiday it would be difficult for some of the businesses to participate.
“Last year was our first year and this is still new for us, doing the tree auction,” McClary said. “With it being so close to Thanksgiving, it’s been hard to get people to come in and set up.”
Despite the struggle, several companies brought in decorated trees. Each tree had a theme chosen by the business. For example, the Newmont Mining Corporation tree is decorated to represent creating a safe work environment. Farmers Insurance decided to go with a candy lollipop-inspired creation in pink and white.
After the decorated trees were auctioned off during the craft fair, they were wrapped to preserve the decorations and transported to their new homes. McClary hopes the trees will help fund chamber events in the future. The chamber currently holds some 15 different events each year.