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Local News

Festival of trees – Shorewood highlights local businesses, groups with tree decoration contest

Local businesses, groups decorate trees for Shorewood festival

Shorewood Laundromat owner Steve Hays came up with an unusual ornament for the Christmas tree he has on display at the Shorewood Village Hall – socks he usually keeps in a lost-and-found basket at his business.

Hays said he’s used lost-and-found socks before to create a “sock monster” costume for Halloween and he thought they would also make good ornaments for a Christmas tree that is one of many featured at the Festival of Trees at Shorewood Village Hall.

“We just got creative with it. It was a lot of fun,” Hays said.

The festival is a monthlong event that ends Friday.

At the festival, people vote on their favorite trees.

The contest is open to local businesses, nonprofits and other organizations in Shorewood. Voters choose their three favorite trees by submitting a ballot at Village Hall or completing an online survey at

Luke Gundersen, the village’s recreation and event coordinator, said the festival showcases businesses and organizations in Shorewood.

“We highlight organizations who have invested in this community,” Gundersen said.

The first and second floor of Village Hall are filled with trees decorated in ways that remind people of local businesses, such as the tree for the Shorewood Laundromat at 700 W. Jefferson St.

Hays said he not only decorated his tree with socks, but also laundry detergent cartons. He said he also used dryer sheets cut into snowflakes.

“It’s a chance for us to get our name out and it does some marketing,” Hays said of the festival.

The tree from Savarino’s Pizza at 1134 W. Jefferson St. has pizza slice ornaments and pizza boxes at the bottom of its tree.

Bill Savarino, the restaurant’s owner, called the festival “an awesome touch to the Christmas festivities that Shorewood puts on each year.”

“Their support for local businesses is second to none,” Savarino said.

Other trees were different from the businesses that created them, such as the tree from Shorewood Bank & Trust at 931 Brook Forest Ave., which is entirely blue and looks like the Cookie Monster from “Sesame Street.”

Carol Wagner, Shorewood Area Chamber of Commerce president, said the festival gives local businesses a presence in the village and reminds people that those businesses are part of the community. The Chamber also has its own tree at the building.

“They’re all decorated in their own personality,” Wagner said of the trees.

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