WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The 19th annual North Country Festival of Trees event took place from November 26 through December 4. Samaritan Health announced the 2021 winners of the event on their website on December 17.

This year’s theme was “Merry and Bright” and it was held at the Former Bon-Ton at the Salmon Run Mall. The event featured 74 decorated trees that were auctioned off. The auction raised over $48,000 for the Samaritan Medical Center Foundation and Watertown Family YMCA.

According to their website, over 1,000 people attended the public viewing. The full list of winners is listed below:


Best Use of Festival Theme

  • “It’s a Wonderful Life” – Sponsored by A.T. Matthews & Dier, Decorated by Nancy Storino, Lisa Ruggiero & Beth Arthur
  • “Merry and Bright” – Sponsored by Complete Family Care & Laser Center, Decorated by Donna Trumbo

Most Traditional

  • “Peace, Love, Joy and Be Merry” – Sponsored by SBS Rentals.  Decorated by Watertown Lions Club
  • “Cozy Country Christmas” – Sponsored by The Kellie and Joseph Sanzone Family Living Trust.  Decorated by Alisha Lafex, Mariah McNeely & Kimberly Rizzo

Most Elegant

  • “Girls Night Out” – Sponsored by The Heather Freeman Foundation.  Decorated by Karla Stefanini & Karen Nevills
  • “Sisterly Love” – Sponsored by The Paddock Club.  Decorated by Kathy Dyer, Chris Rickett & Michelle Leo

Most Innovative

  • “Furry and Bright” – Sponsored by The Animal Doctors.  Decorated by Julia & Lola Stoddart, Lynn & Danel Godek
  • “Adventure Awaits in NYS” – Sponsored by Carthage Savings & Loan Association.  Decorated by Carthage Savings & Loan Association

Judge’s Choice

  • “Holidaisy” – Sponsored by BCA Architects & Engineers.  Decorated by Karla Stefanini & Karen Nevills
  • “Merry and Bright” – Sponsored by Knowles Family.  Decorated by Lisa O’Driscoll & Liz Culbertson

Jim Henry Most Whimsical

  • “Operation Yellow Ribbon” – Sponsored by Colello Air Technologies.  Decorated by Tillie Youngs, Judy Gentner, Ashley Shepherd, Nancy Datoush, Alisson Gorham & Marry Corriveau
  • “Love the Lake” – Sponsored by Cheney Tire.  Decorated by Brenda Sipher

People’s Choice

  • “Holidaisy” – Sponsored by BCA Architects & Engineers.  Decorated by Karla Stefanini & Karen Nevills
  • “Donate Life in Loving Memory of Tyler R. Christman” – Donated by Christman Fuel Service.  Decorated by Faith Parks & Lillian Buck

    Honorable Mentions
  • “For the Love of Being Outdoors” – Sponsored by Slack Chemical Company.  Decorated by Shari Simmons
  • “Waltz of Angels” – Sponsored by Knowlton Technologies.  Decorated by Stacey Bristow
  • “No Peeking” – Sponsored by Northern Radiology.  Decorated by Jean Goodfriend, Kimberly Roberts & Cherie Schneckenburger
  • “Candy Can Christmas” – Sponsored by King & King Architects.  Decorated by Jeff Pawlowski, Rich Baldwin & Michelle Fuller
  • “ReJOYce! For he is Born” – Sponsored by North Country Family Health Center.  Decorated by Kevin Kitto

According to Samaritan, the tradition will continue next year, with a theme of “It’s a Wonderful Life”.