Excitement is building in Minnesota this year as the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will be coming from the Chippewa National Forest, located right here in our great state. The tree has been chosen and it is 65 feet tall. Along with the tree, our state will be donating 10,000 ornaments to help decorate it. There are several contests running to encourage artists and citizens to create works of art to send along the way, and one of those is taking place at our wonderful State Fair.
The contest has some criteria to meet including the ornament has to be less than 12 inches tall, it must be 2 or 3 dimensional, and it has to weigh less than 1/2 pound. It also has to include one of the following features from the state park logo: an eagle, Ojibwe floral bead work design, spruce or balsam fir tree, and/or elements of nature found in Minnesota such as lakes, rivers, or ecosystem.
I was able to convince my youngest daughter to design an ornament. I also decided to do it with her since they had an adult as well as a youth category. The prizes were substantial. First place was awarded $100, 2nd $50 and 3rd $25. Those are big prizes for the State Fair. Most creative or educational ribbons only award $8 for first place so this was definitely worth putting some serious effort into. Here is what we created. My daughter's is first (she wanted to wear her Christmas sweater for the photo). Mine is second.
My daughter turned out to be the proud 1st place ribbon holder at our State Fair, and she already got her $100 check in the mail. We have the option to donate the ornaments to the tree after the fair and we both decided we would send them along to Washington, D.C. We are hoping to see a presidential portrait that might happen to have our ornaments in the background. That would be pretty neat!
Update: We made it to the display at the fair last week. Here are photos of the winners. I was surprised to see that I got a 4th place ribbon, since only the first 3 ribbon holders were published on the State Fair website, so I thought I hadn't received anything for my piece. It is my first ribbon at the Fair and I am very proud of it!
Originally published Dec. 9, 2012
I really love weekends in December. For me, and I think a lot of other people too, they are filled with shopping, decorating and holiday baking. I’m not sure if guys feel the same way. Now that I think about it, probably not so much. Not to be stereotypical…I’m sure there are some guys who do all of that and more. Speaking to the ones who do not, perhaps they at least get to enjoy the fruits of those labors, sneaking a caramel or cookie here and there and generally feeling the warmth emanating from the glow of holiday candles or lights, cards coming in the mail, the anticipation of opening presents, and the joy of giving a special gift.
Here are a few images I’ve made over the years. I hope you too are enjoying this time of year whether you are actively or passively participating in it!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.