ASHLAND Model coal trains racing around a winter-themed track and 200 artisanal holiday trees mesmerized festivalgoers on a frigid Autumn day.
Hundreds of guests shook the icy rain from their coats upon entering a glowing Paramount Arts Center in downtown Ashland on Saturday, day two of the 32nd annual Festival of Trees and Trains.
The theme of this year’s festival is “Treasured Traditions.” Portions of the proceeds from ticket purchases and auctions benefit the Paramount’s education department.
“We came to see Santa,” said April Huff, of South Point, who brought her 3-year-old son, Scott Thomas Huff to the festival. “Santa got two minutes of our time and the trains got hours.”
Children eager to submit their Christmas wish list to Saint Nick lined up on the main stage with their guardians while hot cocoa brewed nearby. Across the stage a balloon artist twisted and tied toy animals.
Most eyes were fixed on the meticulously-decorated holiday trees perched on tables throughout the center. Over the course of the 10-day festival 2,200 students will visit thanks to anonymous donors, according to Paramount Woman’s Association chair Tammie Grubb.
The club has organized the acclaimed Ashland tradition for decades. A record-breaking 15,000 guests perused the festival last year.
This year, 132 biddable items are on display, including trees, wreaths and gift baskets. Local businesses are also selling gifts inside the marquee room.
The festival continues Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Cocoa with Santa” ends at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for children and senior citizens.
The following is the schedule for the remainder of the festival.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. — Open. Scout Day. Adults: $6; children and seniors, $5.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. — Open. Family Night from 3 to 9 p.m. Adults: $6; children and seniors, $5.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. — Open. Children’s Train and Fun Time from noon to 6 p.m. Adults: $6; children and seniors, $5.
4 to 9 p.m. — Open. Adults: $6; children and seniors, $5.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. — Open. Adults: $6; children and seniors, $5.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Open. Adults: $6; children and seniors, $5.