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The 2022 Festival of Trees featured 64 entries from community groups, service agencies, churches, and student organizations across the McKeesport area – welcoming guests to the Jacob Woll (Main) Pavilion in Renziehausen Park on December 1 through 5.
“The Festival of Trees is a true community event,” Mayor Mike Cherepko said. “Not only does it bring McKeesporters together in celebration of the holiday spirit, but it allows each of our local organizations, student clubs, churches, and other participating groups to share their mission and creativity with visitors.”
Each year, a panel of judges selects their favorite trees in the categories of Inspirational, Elegant, Handmade, Creative, Service, and Original in three age ranges of adult, children 11-18, and children 10 and younger. Festival-goers also vote for their favorite tree in the People’s Choice award – this year going to the South Allegheny art department for their “Starry, Starry Night” tree. View the complete list of winners on the “City of McKeesport – Mayor’s Office” Facebook page.
“The trees are so creative,” event chair Cheryl Cotter said. “The overall themes stay the same – family, friendship, commitment, and caring for each other. Every year, the styles change, but the values remain the same. Every one of these groups is proud to be part of the McKeesport community.”
Winners of this year's festival were named in the following categories.
Students 10 and Younger:
Original - Francis McClure Elementary School, First Place
Handmade - Fawcett Plan Task Force, First Place; United at Twin Rivers Elementary School Afterschool Program, Second Place; Cub Scouts Pack 284, Third Place
Creative - McKeesport Mon Valley Girls Softball Association, First Place; McKeesport Area Pre-K Counts, Second Place; Cub Scouts Pack 53, Third Place
Inspirational - Sampson Mills Presbyterian Church, First Place; Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Parish, Second Place
Service - Alliance Child Care Center, First Place; La Rosa Youth Club, Second Place
Elegant - McKeesport Family Center, First Place
Students 11 to 18 Years:
Original - South Allegheny High School Art Department, First Place; Mon Valley School, Second Place
Handmade - Dance Company for the Performing Arts, First Place; Mary Mother of God Parish, Second Place; Mayor of Nazareth Catholic School, Third Place
Creative - Serra Catholic High School, First Place; Young Scholars Charter School of Greater Allegheny, Second Place; UPMC at Mon Yough, Third Place
Inspirational - Girl Scouts Troop 58112, First Place; Praise Christian Academy, Second Place; McKeesport Area High School Interact Club, Third Place
Service - McKeesport Little Tigers, First Place; McKeesport Area High School Red & Blue Student Newspaper and Student Council, Second Place; McKeesport Area High School Cheerleaders, Third Place
Elegant - McKeesport Area High School Tiger Band, First Place; McKeesport Area High School Tri-M Honor Society, Second Place; Auberle Ward Home, Third Place
Original - Nuttall Public Safety Equipment LLC, First Place; McKeesport Trail Commision, Second Place; Sable Kennel, Third Place
Handmade - Garden Club of McKeesport, First Place; Faith Lutheran Church, Second Place; McKeesport Toastmasters, Third Place
Creative - McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center, First Place; McKeesport Fire Department, Second Place; McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service, Third Place
Inspirational - McKeesport Housing Authority, First Place; Business and Professional Women's Association, Second Place; Jodie Matta-Dillinger Cancer Supporters, Third Place
Service - Striffler Family Funeral Homes, First Place; National Alliance on Mental Illness McKeesport Chapter, Second Place; McKeesport Lions Club, Third Place
Elegant - Semper Fidelis Club of McKeesport, First Place; NAACP McKeesport Unit, Second Place; Striffler Family Funeral Homes, Third Place