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Annual Christmas Tree Forest brings smiles to children's faces

By Sonny Long
Dec. 8, 2011 at 6:08 a.m.

Jaime Kelley, executive director of the Yoakum Heritage Museum, reads to pre-K students from St. Joseph school in Yoakum before they tour the annual Christmas Tree Forest display.

MEET THE NEW DIRECTOR

Jamie Kelley is the new executive director of the Yoakum Heritage Museum. Born in Port Lavaca, Kelley, 35, moved to Yoakum as a toddler and graduated from Yoakum High School in 1995. The former teacher became executive director of the Yoakum Heritage Museum in August.

If you go

What: The Yoakum Heritage Museum

Where: 312 Simpson St.

When: Open Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.

More: Special tour arrangements may be made by calling 361-293-7022.

Three-year-old Kyleigh Powell beamed and pointed at the display of painted horses.

"I like that one," she said, zeroing in on her favorite in the display case.

The horses, on loan to the Yoakum Heritage Museum from the Heller family, are part of the 24th annual Christmas Tree Forest on display through Jan. 2, 2012.

St. Joseph School pre-K classmate Aeryn Anthony, 3, liked what she saw, too, especially the trees.

"I like that they have ornaments on them and they are pretty," she said.

The St. Joseph class of about 25 toured the museum Thursday, one of about 30 tours for school children the museum will conduct during the display, said Jamie Kelley, museum executive director.

There are about 65 decorated trees on display. The theme is "A Texas Country Christmas."

"This is one of our most popular displays every year," said Kelley. "The community really puts effort into decorating their trees."

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