GOLIAD – Zoey Sawyer posed next to a colorful Christmas tree and beamed as her mother, Alena Sawyer, took out her cellphone to take a photo.

“She’s very proud of the tree,” Sawyer, 37, said after snapping a photo of Zoey with the tree. “Especially of the ornament she made. She came right over to show us which one she made.”

Zoey’s ornament hung on the branches of the Christmas tree decorated by the second-grade students of the Goliad school district, one of 26 trees on display in downtown Goliad for the second annual Christmas Tree Project.

The project debuted Friday during the first day of Christmas in Goliad.

Christmas in Goliad also features craft and food vendors, art exhibits, book sales and a visit from Santa Claus on a “reinsteer,” among other activities.

The tree project, hosted by Main Street Goliad, started with 16 trees last year, said Keli Miller, the Main Street Goliad director. The 6½-foot artificial Christmas trees are sponsored by local businesses and clubs, and community youth, groups and organizations then decorate the trees to their liking.

“We don’t have a theme, so the decorators have free rein over how they want the tree to look,” Miller said.

The trees are on display for more than a week and are then donated to families in need, she said.

Miller said she is happy to see the project nearly double in size. The project recently won best promotional event in the state through the Texas Downtown Association.

Miller said she is also proud that the project teaches children about giving back.

“They enjoy making decorations for the trees, and at the same time, the project educates them about helping those in need,” Miller said.

Sawyer said she is glad her daughter had the opportunity to participate in the project. Her favorite tree is a rustic, campfire-style tree designed by the fourth-grade students of Goliad school district.

“I think it’s an amazing project. It’s thoughtful, and it’s a good community effort,” she said.

Rayegan Hernandez, 18, also strolled through the Christmas Tree Project on Saturday. The tree that caught her eye was the tree decorated by first-grade students. The decorations included brightly colored beads, wooden cutouts, and dreamcatchers.

Hernandez gave credit to all of the decorators who participated in the project.

“This is actually really cool. It’s nice to see the little kids have fun with a great project,” she said.

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Amber Aldaco reports on regional counties for the Victoria Advocate. She may be reached at aaldaco@vicad.com or 361-580-6303.

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Education Reporter

Amber Aldaco is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She's covered various events in the Crossroads including a zoo rescue, a biker funeral and a state meeting with the governor. She enjoys singing with her significant other.

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