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Deck the Halls founder/organizer Carolyn Peart holds up some of the fresh holiday decorations made with greenery from local farms and estates. This year's suppliers are Hickory Hill Farm, Winterberry Farm, Maplewood Farm and Claybrooke Farms. (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Peart)
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Deck the Halls participants are given three wreath forms, fresh greenery, ribbons and more supplies to create custom holiday decorations. "Table Coaches," experts from local garden clubs and decorating clubs, are on hand to help participants complete their designs. (Photo courtesy Carolyn Peart)
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The Deck the Halls event, now in its 11th year, takes place at the historic Pine Grove Farm in Ashland. The property dates back to the 1700s; "The outbuildings – the original smokehouse, work shed, bunk house, and food and dairy storage sheds are still being used as well as the barn, which dates to 1905," says Peart. (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Peart)
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The festive atmosphere and fun activities make this Deck the Halls a family-friendly event. (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Peart)
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In the Pine Grove Farm barn, built in 1905, participants can enjoy "hot chocolate, tea, coffee, cider and plates and plates full of homemade goodies," says Peart. (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Peart)
This Sunday, you'll have the unique opportunity to create your own custom holiday decorations with fresh, locally-sourced greenery, while also helping women and children in Hanover County who may be in crisis.
The 11th annual Deck the Halls event takes place at the historic Pine Grove Farm in Ashland, a landmark of Hanover County built in the 1700s. Participants will make their own wreaths, table runners and other festive home decorations at the event, which began in 2004 as a way to raise funds for a local women's shelter. At the kickoff event, organizer Carolyn Peart, who owns Pine Grove Farm with her husband, supplied greenery from her own holly and magnolia trees, and 35 people made holiday decorations and donated funds to the shelter. Since that time, Deck the Halls has swelled in size every year; last year's event drew nearly 300 people. This year's event benefits Hanover Safe Place, which provides support to domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Hanover County.
"When you give of yourself, you get so much more back in return," says Peart. "I look over the crowds, especially the families who are working together on their decorations ... attendees are smiling, laughing, making new friends, having a great time. They generously support Hanover Safe Place by attending the fundraiser. In return, they create memories that will last a lifetime. We have families that return year after year."
Deck the Halls takes place Sunday, Dec. 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Pine Grove Farm (12438 Elmont Road in Ashland). Participants are asked to make a donation to enter the event; $35 per adult and $10 per child. For more information, visit the Deck the Halls website or Facebook page.