ASHLAND Scout leaders, teachers and Sunday school leaders met in early October in the banquet room of the Paramount Arts Center to learn the ins and outs of preparing a tree for the Festival of Trains and Trees, the theater’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Tammy Grubb and Christy Meade, two of the chairwomen of the event, explained judging rules and gave tips on securing ornaments and fluffing branches.

Some examples: Secure the caps of ornaments with glue and ornaments onto tree branches with floral wire or zip ties. Hide the light wiring among the branches.

“Consider the ‘Wow’ factor,’” Grubb said, urging decorators to think of a striking theme and carry it out with high-impact visuals.

This year, the event, set for Friday through Nov. 25, marks the 34th year of FOTT. The theme is Snowflake Spectacular.

The workshop’s subject was school and Scout trees, which will be displayed in the balcony of the theater. There also will be trees from 3 to 6 feet tall as well as small than 3 feet.

Of course, there are trains.

Trains joined the festival in 2004, when train aficionado Don Maxwell and then-16-year-old Chris Lockwood got the track and designed the track system. Others in the community brought their specific expertise to the project: landscape architect Kim Jenkins; Chuck Lanthorne, ACTC carpentry educator; G-gauge owner Harold Vallance; and PAC resident carpenter Sonny Smith.

Adding trains to the festival was a move for the children, even though visitors of all ages have interest in trains.

Other events and activities will be offered this year for children, including:

n Nov. 19 — Scout Day. Admission will be $3.50 per Scout.

n Nov. 17 and 24, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Cocoa with Santa; cookies will be served and crafts and photos with Santa will be available.

n Nov. 20, 3 to 9 p.m. — Family Day; $12 per family (limit five).

A complete schedule follows

n Nov. 16 — Noon to 9 p.m.

n  Nov. 17 — Noon to 9 p.m.

11 to 2 p.m. — Cocoa with Santa and activities on stage.

n  Nov. 18 — Noon to 6 p.m.

n  Nov. 19 (Scout Day) — Noon to 9 p.m.

n Nov. 20 — Noon to 9 p.m.

Family Day Admission from 3 to 9 p.m. — $12 per family (limit five).

Ashland Christmas Parade

n Nov. 21 — Noon to 9 p.m.

2 to 7 p.m. — Powell Photography Professional Santa Photos

n Nov. 22 — 4 to 90 p.m.

 n Nov. 23 — 11 a.m. to  Noon is Sensory Hour.

Open noon to 9 p.m.

n Nov. 24 — 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Cocoa with Santa and aActivities on stage.

n Nov. 25 — Noon to 6 p.m.

3 p.m. — Awards/ribbons pickup begins

5 p.m.—  Bidding closes; raffle drawings announced.

6 to 8 p.m. — Purchased Item Pickup- Backstage

n Nov. 26

 1 to 7 p.m. — Purchased item pickup backstage.

(606) 326-2661 |

lward@dailyindependent.com