by Lucy Hardcastle
We all are familiar with the saying “it takes a village” but sometimes it takes a family to get things done. And the village of Forestville is fortunate to have the kind of family values that translates into making this a better place to live.
One great example is our own Holiday Tree that sits in the parking lot of the downtown Oaks Park each year. It may seem magical to those of us who see it appear each November decked out with ornaments and lights but it’s the Wood, Trappe and Northern families we have to thank for how this huge fir tree gets there, dons its festive attire, and brings joy to all who pass by during the holiday season.
The tree lighting first started back in the 50’s. Over time Forestvillian Earl Stevens took on the project and handled all the logistics for over twenty years. When he was ready to retire, he knew how much this tree meant to the community, so he actively recruited Claire Wood Trappe to take over. He knew she and her extended family were capable of just about anything they set their mind to and lucky for us she said yes. For the past three years Claire has overseen getting the tree donated; petitioning the Chamber to purchase new lights (60 strings to be exact), refresh the ornaments, get the truck from Canyon Rock Quarry to deliver the tree to the park, get the equipment there to make it happen and recruit the many family members and volunteers it takes that day to pull it all together just in time for the official lighting ceremony, which takes place the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
The Chamber not only helps with the decorations and lights but hosts the tree lighting itself. They pass out cookies, hot dogs, hot cider and hot chocolate too. It’s a real community gathering with Santa arriving on a fire truck in time to chat with kids, and their parents, on what they want for Christmas.
The village of Forestville is fortunate to have Claire and the growing families of the Wood and Trappe clan to carry on this lovely tradition. Thanks to Earl for all his years of handling this effort and now to the younger generation who shows those family values are alive and well here in Forestville.