NEW BREMEN — Members of a local historical society are trying something new this year with their annual holiday event.
Members of the New Bremen Historic Association are holding their Christmas Tree Festival at the Lockkeeper's House in conjunction with the village of New Bremen's tree lighting.
"Usually we have it in our museum," said Diane Paul, a Christmas Tree Festival organizer. "A lot of people in New Bremen don't know what the Lockkeeper's House is about, so this gives us a chance to show them."
The display will officially open when the village turns on its Christmas lights as part of the New Bremen-New Knoxville Rotary Tree Lighting.
"At 6:30, when the town puts the lights on, it will open," Paul said. "It will also be open during the regular chamber hours, and we're having an open house on Dec. 4."
Sunday's open house will be from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lockkeeper's House — like the New Bremen Historic Association's Christmas Open House held at the museum on Main Street in the past.
"We'll have refreshments, and Rita Heitkamp will be there and will be singing," Paul said.
She noted the group hopes to make the event at the Lockkeeper's House an annual event residents look forward to during the holiday season.
"We're hoping to make it a yearly event," she said. "If it gets big enough, maybe we'll hold it at both places."
The New Bremen Historic Association has requested interested businesses, organizations, families, children and adults to display a tree or other Christmas decoration that depicts their individual interest.
"We have approximately 33 displays so far," Paul said. "They're mainly on the second floor, but we may have enough for all three floors."
She said they have already received a variety of trees — the deadline for the trees to be completed is Wednesday.
"We have trees of all sizes," Paul said. "We have little trees, we have big trees."
She noted her grandchildren did a tree, as well as the children at Serendipity and the New Bremen kindergarten class.
"We're hoping to get more kids involved," Paul said. "By people coming and seeing that, maybe more people will want to do it next year."
The New Bremen Historic Association also added another new twist to its Christmas Tree Festival.
"New this year is people can vote," Paul said. "They can vote by tossing in pennies or something, and the best ones will get prizes."