Sharon Hoffman (left) and Kate Lines braved chilly temperatures Tuesday morning to practice decorating one of the Christmas Spirit Trees with some of the mittens

Sharon Hoffman (left) and Kate Lines braved chilly temperatures Tuesday morning to practice decorating one of the Christmas Spirit Trees with some of the mittens

Woollies needed for Christmas Spirit Trees

Christmas Spirit Trees take root downtown the first week of December as part of the city’s Winter Lights Festival.

Christmas Spirit Trees take root downtown the first week of December as part of the city’s Winter Lights Festival.

Toques, scarves and mittens will once again flower on several downtown trees, ready for the plucking by chilly fingers.

And the woollies on the trees are all free for anyone who needs them.

Sharon Hoffman, Community Arts Council of Williams Lake representative launched the Christmas Spirit Tree social experiment last year during the Winter Lights Festival, and it was such a success, she is now getting ready to decorate trees again.

“The Community Arts Council was so impressed by the support from the community last year,” Hoffman says. “We had pretty close to 200 items donated at the Earth Friendly Holiday Event.”

She said the donation will be bagged and placed on various trees around the city by arts group volunteers.

“More than half of the woolies were plucked from the trees around town during the Winter Lights weekend last year,” Hoffman says.

“When we moved the remaining items to the tree in Boitanio Park, they were being claimed just about as quickly as we could put them up.”

Christmas Spirit Tree decorations will go on various trees in downtown Williams Lake Friday, Dec. 2 to launch the Winter Lights Festival’s late-night shopping and carolling-for-treats event which runs from 6 to 9 p.m.

“Don’t be shy,” says the BIA’s Kate Lines. “If you or your friends and family are enjoying Winter Lights and feeling the cold, reach up and pluck a woolly fruit from the nearest Christmas Spirit Tree.”

Winter Lights continues on Saturday, Dec. 3 with the Santa Parade and Midday Madness shopping events.

The three-day festival ends on Sunday, Dec. 4 with a free skate and the chance to win prizes at the Cariboo Memorial Complex from 1 to 4:15 p.m.

Donations of mittens, scarves, and toques, for the Christmas Spirit Trees can be dropped off at the Earth Friendly Holiday event taking place at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre this Friday, Nov. 26 evening and Saturday at the arts centre and at the Delainey’s Mall.

Last year Hoffman says they even had a few sweaters and jackets donated.

“The people receiving the warm items were so appreciative,” Hoffman says.

After December 4, the arts council volunteers will put the woollies on a Christmas Spirit Tree at Boitanio Park.