“You walk in the place and see all the decorated trees and it makes you feel all holly jolly,” Society President Shirley O’Neil said.
According to O’Neil, it has been more than two decades since a forest has been assembled the way her group is doing theirs.
She said the group decided to have a forest this year because she had heard comments that people missed it and they wanted one place to go to see lots of trees. Though the McClanahan House will only have about 12 trees this year she hopes the event grows and gains momentum every year. She is already thinking about next year and about starting the process and getting the word out much early than it was done this year.
This year’s Christmas Tree Forest will be open from Dec. 1 through Dec. 16 and while it is free to come and view the trees the historical society is requesting that people bring non-perishable items that can be donated to the Beeville Vineyard.
O’Neil hopes that between 500 and 1,000 people will stop in and see the trees throughout December.
She said there are already two BISD classes that are interested in visiting the forest and she anticipates more to express an interest after the forest opens.
They have set the hours of the forest when they are not only accessible to schools for field trips but also to families. The forest will be open several evenings throughout the event to try and accommodate anyone’s schedules.
O’Neil said groups can still bring in their trees to be part of the forest but just be aware that the forest opens on Dec. 1.
“I am excited (about the forest),” O’Neil said. “I think its going to build from here.”
The scheduled openings of the house for viewing will be Thursday, Dec. 1, from 4:30-7:30 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 2, from 4-8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 3, from 2-8 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 6, through Thursday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Tuesday, Dec. 13, through Thursday Dec. 15, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturdays, Dec. 10 and 17, from 2 to 6 p.m; and Sundays, Dec. 4, 11 and 18, 2-6 p.m.