Christmas tree forest coming to Heritage Museum

Heritage Museum's Christmas Tree Forest turns 10 this year.The museum's annual holiday exhibit, which will feature more than 40 custom-decorated Christmas trees, will open Nov. 15 and run through Dec. 21.Around 40 businesses, organizations, school groups and individuals are expected to decorate trees for the fifth annual event at the museum, Director Nancy Raney said.“We really enjoy the Christmas Tree Forest,” Raney said. “It gets us in the mood for Christmas. It always gets very beautiful down at the museum this time of year.“This is the museum's Christmas gift to the community,” she added.The event was begun by Gale Pittman in the early 1990s in the downtown Big Spring area.“After that went by the wayside, he came to us wanting to start it back up,” Raney said. “Of course, we thought that was a great idea.This year's exhibit is dedicated to Pittman's wife, Maureen, who recently succumbed to cancer.As a way to honor Mrs. Pittman, the exhibit will feature two new trees this year — the Relay For Life Tree of Hope and Remembrance, which will be festooned with purple ornaments carrying the name of a cancer survivor or victim; and a tree with personalized memorial ornaments.“If anyone would like to memorialize a loved one — whether they died within the last year or 20 years ago — they can bring in a photo of the person, and we'll make a copy which will placed in a clear ornament,” Museum Curator Tammy Schrecengost said. “And they can pick up their ornament from the museum after the holidays.”Cost of the memorial ornaments is $3 each, Schrecengost said.In conjunction with the holiday exhibit, the museum will hold its annual Breakfast With Santa from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dec. 1. Children will have a chance to visit and have pictures taken with Santa and learn how to decorate a gingerbread cookie and a Christmas tree ornament.Cost for that event is $3 per child.For more information on the holiday events, contact the museum at 267-8255.