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Celebrating 70 years of a holiday tradition

Nov 19, 2020
The Camden Garden Club Wreath Team gets the job done. From left is Mary Winchell; Sherry Cobb; Debra Stokes; Ruth Ellison; Jennifer Gromada; Sherry James; Mike James; and Karen Cease. Not pictured is Dick Cease; Stephanie Mathews; and Jeff Zurkow).

Camden — Camden Garden Club has provided winter holiday cheer to the downtown lampposts for the past 70 years.  Beginning in 1950, evergreens and red berries filled the baskets. Over time the club experimented with real trees, artificial trees, pine cones, chestnuts, tinsel, strings of red and green lights and red plastic bows before settling on fresh balsam wreaths, strings of white lights and red velvet bows in 1971.

Earlier this year, due to the health emergency, Camden Garden Club made the difficult but responsible decision to cancel its Garden & Home Tour scheduled for July.  A portion of the proceeds from this major fundraiser covers the cost of the annual holiday display.  In early September an email was sent to the membership suggesting that they could help their club budget by personally sponsoring one or more of the wreaths.  Participation was voluntary and the response was remarkable.  By Oct. 21 enough money was raised to cover the cost of more than 60 wreaths.

In the past, club members have gathered together in early November to create the large red velvet bows that embellish each wreath, but social distancing guidelines meant this year it would have to be done individually or in very small groups.  Once again members stepped up, divided the task and got it done.

At 8 a.m. Nov. 18, the wreaths were delivered to the American Legion Hall parking lot and a small group of volunteer members and supporters got busy attaching a red velvet bow to each one - the final step before Camden town workers collect the wreaths and hang them on the lampposts.  As a cost saving measure this year the club voted to forego adding strings of white lights, just as they did between 1973 and 1979 during the energy crisis.  However, Camden’s new LED street lamps are expected to shine down brightly and create the traditional holiday magic for all to enjoy.

Camden Garden Club is a member of the Garden Club Federation of Maine and National Garden Clubs, Inc.  For more information about the club and its activities visit the club’s website or contact

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Jeff Sukeforth | Nov 19, 2020 20:05

We are very proud to be able to do this little something of offering our building, or this year, the driveway, for this wonderful project.  Thank you Camden Garden Club for all you do for our little community.

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