It may have been the bright sunshine and warmer temperatures or the need to head to the malls for seasonal gifts that contributed to the lackluster attendance at the Winchester Cowboy Christmas Festival this past weekend.
But a shining star to the event was the seven organizations that decorated Christmas trees, offering them for purchase at a silent auction.
Each tree was decorated on site by the individual non-profit group with all of the auction proceeds benefiting that charity, said event producer Tony Trafton.
Among those organizations represented were the Hemet Community Pantry, West Valley High School Band Boosters, the Community Hospice of Hemet, Habitat for Humanity, the Center Against Sexual Assault and the Rez Riders Indian Motorcycle Club.
The large Holiday Market tent housing the Christmas trees also showcased several vendors offering handcrafted toys, seasonal novelties and one-of-a-kind gifts.
Trafton stated that Thursday’s opening night numbers were good for an event of this size and that there was a constant line waiting for pictures with Santa.