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York City's Goodridge Freedom Center hosts Festival of Trees

Dawn J. Sagert
York Dispatch

The Goodridge Festival of Trees 2018 is open to the public and offers much more than just a tree display.

Yes, the 27 individually inspired creations will dazzle and delight, but the historic home and freedom center offers much more intrigue within.

Trees are on display for the Goodridge Festival of Trees 2018 at the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center & Underground Railroad Museum in York City, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The center is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nov. thru Dec., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on First Friday, Dec. 7, from 4-8 p.m. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Kelly Summerford, the new manager of the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center & Underground Railroad Museum, offers tours of the center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout November and December, with additional availability from 4-8 p.m. on First Friday, Dec. 7.

New Freedom Center manager Kelly Summerford demonstrates how subjects might have been posed in the new 1850's photo gallery and daguerreotype studio on the second level of the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center & Underground Railroad Museum in York City, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The center is hosting the Goodridge Festival of Trees and is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nov. thru Dec., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on First Friday, Dec. 7, from 4-8 p.m. Dawn J. Sagert photo

As a regional actor who has portrayed Goodridge for some time, Summerford says he likes to tell everyone a little bit about who Goodridge was.

“We want to do it in the spirit of William Goodridge, who was the first person to bring a Christmas tree to York,” Summerford said.

Goodridge was the son of a slave in Baltimore and eventually became a business owner in York in the early 1800s. The Goodridge Center, 123 E. Philadelphia St., was Goodridge's home and a stop on the Underground Railroad.

The theme for the trees displayed throughout the home follow the theme of “Celebrating Artistic Interpretations of Images.” The titled works range in theme from kaleidoscope to angels, a rotating tree, a nativity, selfies and bling, to name a few.

Display No. 6, “Image of Evalina,” is a bright and glimmering figure decorated as a tribute to Evalina Goodridge, William’s wife.

"Image of Evalina," a dress-form tree which represents Mrs. Goodridge is one of twenty-seven trees on display for the Goodridge Festival of Trees 2018 at the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center & Underground Railroad Museum in York City, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The center is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nov. thru Dec., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on First Friday, Dec. 7, from 4-8 p.m. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“I just thought that was the most unique tree — to take a mannequin and make it beautiful,” Summerford said.

For more information on the Festival of Trees as well as more upcoming events offered at the center, go to www.goodridgefreedomcenter.org/.

Trees are on display for the Goodridge Festival of Trees 2018 at the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center & Underground Railroad Museum in York City, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The center is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nov. thru Dec., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on First Friday, Dec. 7, from 4-8 p.m. Dawn J. Sagert photo
"Image of Evalina," a dress-form tree which represents Mrs. Goodridge is one of many trees on display for the Goodridge Festival of Trees 2018 at the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center & Underground Railroad Museum in York City, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The center is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nov. thru Dec., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on First Friday, Dec. 7, from 4-8 p.m. Dawn J. Sagert photo
"Kaleidoscopic Images" is one of twenty-seven trees on display for the Goodridge Festival of Trees 2018 at the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center & Underground Railroad Museum in York City, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The center is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nov. thru Dec., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on First Friday, Dec. 7, from 4-8 p.m. Dawn J. Sagert photo

 

"Image of Eternity" is one of twenty-seven trees on display for the Goodridge Festival of Trees 2018 at the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center & Underground Railroad Museum in York City, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The center is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nov. thru Dec., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on First Friday, Dec. 7, from 4-8 p.m. Dawn J. Sagert photo