A view from the balcony of the Paramount Arts Center looking down on displays for the Festival of Trees and Trains.

ASHLAND The Festival of Trees and Trains plans a change this year to make the event more friendly to visitors.

Festival chairwoman Tamme Grubb said the train display, usually in the balcony, will be presented on the main floor.

“The one display will be split into two and moved downstairs to where it will be more accessible to people on walkers and in wheelchairs,” Grubb said.

The festival, set for Nov. 17 through 26, will offer free school tours to children visiting with their classes and the opportunity for children to visit Santa Claus and share some cocoa.

Grubb said last year’s festival offered about 120 items by about 100 decorators. Some are professional interior designers and some are school classrooms, businesses and individuals.

“Every year, we up our record,” Grubb said. “Last year, more than 16,000 people came through.”

Visitors may check out the trees and various decorations and bid on what they’d like to take home. The exhibit will remain up througn Nov. 26. Those who purchased items may pick them up on Nov. 27 and 28.

All proceeds benefit the Paramount. Grubb said it’s a big fundraiser for the historic theater.

FOTT will be the site of a Business After Hours the night before the opening. Following that event, an appreciation party is planned for sponsors and decorators.

Scouts will get the opportunity for a reduced admission rate and to earn a patch on Scout Day, which is from noon to 9 p.m. Nov. 20.

A Children’s Shop will offer items for sale all priced at $5 or less.

The massive job of planning, coordinating and executing the fesitval has fallen to Grubb for three years in a row.

Although she, like most connected to the Paramount and the festival, have fond feelings for both, she acknowledges it’s a lot of work.

“Literally, this event takes a solid 10 months to play,” Grubb said. “There’s just a lot of cogs in the wheel.”

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