Skip to main content

Rochester Woodcarvers

Rochester, MN

Home
Meetings
Annual Show
Festival of Trees
Club Officers
Local Classes
Tools & Wood
Newsletters
Related Links
Contact Us
Festival of Trees




The Rochester Woodcarvers Club supports the annual Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees event by designing and building a tree base complementary to the theme of the tree and carving all the ornaments used to decorate the tree. Click here to visit the Hiawatha Homes site.



2017 Rochester Woodcarvers Trees



For 2017, the Rochester Woodcarvers created ornaments and accessory items for the bases of three trees and donated everything to the Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees! Two trees are 4 feet tall and one tree is 2 feet tall. Overall, there are nearly 300 hand carved/crafted items used for all three trees.

The Zumbro Valley Woodturners are also great supporters of the Rochester Woodcarvers project as the woodturners create and donate many ornaments used on the trees. Thanks to the Zumbro Valley Woodturners for all their help and see more about them at: zvwoodturners.com.

Our Rochester Woodcarvers trees will be available for viewing at the Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees on Friday, November 24 and Saturday, November 25 from 11:00am to 7:00pm and Sunday, November 26 from 11:00am to 5:00pm. For anyone interested in attending the Opening Night Gala on Tuesday, November 21, the Underwriter Preview Party starts at 5:30pm and the Gala starts at 7:00pm but you must pre-purchase tickets from Hiawatha Homes (see the link below for the details).


You can purchase raffle tickets for these trees at the Festival of Trees during open hours until the raffle drawing on Sunday, November 25 at 4:45pm. The first drawing will be for a 4 foot tree, the second drawing will be for the second 4 foot tree and the third drawing will be for the 2 foot tree. All ornaments and base items will be awarded to the winner of each tree.

If you want to see all the photos of the ornaments, the decoration work and the final presentation of each tree, check out our on-line photo album at: 2017 Festival of Trees.

You can find information about the Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees at: Festival of Trees.




2016 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree
  
The Rochester Woodcarvers completed THREE trees for the 2016 Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees and they will be on display at the Festival. The 6' tree and picket fence has over 200 hand carved and turned ornaments, the 4' tree and picket fence has over 100 hand carved and turned ornaments and the mini-tree has a Nativity theme.

A huge thanks to the Rochester Woodcarvers, the Zumbro Valley Woodturners and friends of the club who all contributed ornaments.

The three trees are part of a raffle that will conclude on Sunday, November 27, 2016 and there will be three winners! Stop by the Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees to buy raffle tickets or just take a look!

Click here to visit the Hiawatha Homes site for information about the Festival of Trees!.

See all the photos of the project at: click here.
 

After a full year of work preparing the Rochester Woodcarvers project, a dedicated and active team sold "pre-event" raffle tickets and then a group of "Tree Advocates" assisted the Festival of Trees volunteers to sell a total of 838 raffle tickets to very kind and generous people.

Those tickets sold generated

$4,190.00
for Hiawatha Homes.


2015 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree



The Rochester Woodcarvers have completed the 2015 Festival of Trees project! This year, we have the "Teddy Bear Picnic".

You can see this tree in person (with over 100 other decorated trees) at the 2015 Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees in Rochester, MN! The details about the Festival of Trees can be found at click here.

The concept is a group of bears are all having a great time on a picnic in the woods. Our bears will have wonderful abilities such as packing a picnic lunch, using a picnic blanket, playing on a teeter-totter, spinning a merry-go-round, and whatever else we all can think of...

A huge THANKS to everyone who helped with ideas, carving, construction and assembly/setup! This is truly a CLUB effort!

In addition to all the Rochester Woodcarvers, the Zumbro Valley Woodturners helped us with most of the "round" ornaments. They use their lathes to turn wood into ornaments including the "tree topper", several other "hives" that decorate the tree and many round ornaments! Thanks to the ZVW! We have a great tree with your help and support!

The entire project (base, tree, ornaments and tree topper) is available as a raffle item and a lucky winner will be drawn on Sunday, November 29, 2015.

To see construction photos showing "The Teddy Bear Picnic" project progress, check out the following links:

  • 20150512 RWC Festival of Trees - first photos of the picnic base and trees - May 12, 2015 - click here
  • 20150617 RWC Festival of Trees - updates of trees and electric wiring - June 17, 2015 - click here
  • 20150629 RWC Festival of Trees - adding texture to trees and color to the base - June 29, 2015 - click here
  • 20150713 RWC Festival of Trees - trees have been painted and leaves/grass added - July 13, 2015 - click here
  • 20150902 RWC Festival of Trees - some bears have arrived for the picnic - September 2, 2015 - click here
  • 20150919 RWC September Club meeting - Hiawatha Homes stopped by - September 19, 2015 - click here
  • 20151020 RWC Festival of Trees - more bears have arrived for the picnic - October 20, 2015 - click here
  • 20151123 RWC Festival of Trees - the Teddy Bear Picnic project is done! - November 23, 2015 - click here

The 2015 Festival of Trees was another great experience and we had many, many visitors stop by to talk about this tree and all the bears at the picnic. The raffle drawing was held on Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 4:45pm and the following link has photos of that event:
  • 20151129 RWC Festival of Trees - the raffle drawing and tree delivery - November 29, 2015 - click here

After a full year of work preparing the Rochester Woodcarvers project, a dedicated and active team sold "pre-event" raffle tickets and then a group of "Tree Advocates" assisted the Festival of Trees volunteers to sell a total of 671 raffle tickets to very kind and generous people.

Those tickets sold generated

$3,355.00
for Hiawatha Homes.

The Festival of Trees raffle expenses include $119.62 for the tree, $15.00 for the city gambling license, and $100.00 for the state gambling license for a net result of $3120.38!.

A note from Crystal at Hiawatha Homes:

"Thank you for your generous support again this year! It’s always a joy working with you. You are such an amazing group of talented, creative, kind group of people! Your project continues to be a guest favorite with many oohs and ahhs while enjoying your handiwork and creativity.

Hats off to you, Rochester Woodcarver’s Club! We are so pleased with this result. Thank you for your dedication to our mission!"

A huge thanks to all the Rochester Woodcarvers who participated in preparing this year's project, sold tickets, and represented the club at the Festival of Trees. The Zumbro Valley Woodturners contributed the tree topper and many of the ornaments used this year and the Rochester Woodcarvers thank them for their tremendous support!

We delivered the base, tree and all the ornaments to the lucky winner's home and set it up for them to celebrate this year's Christmas season. Thank you for your support of the Hiawatha Homes and Rochester Woodcarvers!




2014 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree



For the 2014 Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees, the Rochester Woodcarvers Club created another "one-of-a-kind" heirloom project. The "First Christmas" is a hand carved nativity set. Each figure was carved by a club member using flat plane carving techniques and a piece of basswood. The hand crafted stable provides a traditional location for the nativity figures. In the photos, Joseph is 7 1/2" high and the tallest king is 9" high. 


The tree topper is an illuminated rhea eggshell about 5 1/4" tall with a Christmas star carved into the eggshell to make the design.


We had over 130 hand crafted ornaments to decorate the tree. A number of the ornaments were donated by the Zumbro Valley Woodturners.


The 2014 Hiawatha Homes "Festival of Trees" was held November 25 - 30, 2014 at the Mayo Civic Center - Exhibit Hall in Rochester, MN.

Hiawatha Homes Foundation sponsors this event to benefit Hiawatha Homes, Inc. whose mission is to provide residential, in-home, and community-based choices for people with disabilities. The success of each year's Festival of Trees makes a significant difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

Hiawatha Homes accepted our donation and offered it as a raffle item.

The raffle ticket drawing for the lucky winner was held on Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 2:00pm - and lucky Twin City resident Shannon won!

After a full year of work preparing the Rochester Woodcarvers project, a dedicated and active team sold "pre-event" raffle tickets and then a group of "Tree Advocates" assisted the Festival of Trees volunteers to sell a total of 886 raffle tickets to very kind and generous people.

Those tickets sold generated

$4,430.00
for Hiawatha Homes.

A huge thanks to all the Rochester Woodcarvers who participated in preparing this year's project, sold tickets, and represented the club at the Festival of Trees. The Zumbro Valley Woodturners contributed many of the ornaments used this year and the Rochester Woodcarvers thank them for their tremendous support!

Here is a collection of photos of "The First Christmas" and tree on display during the 2014 Festival of Trees:
  • NEW - 2014 Festival of Trees - setting up the tree at the event - November 24, 2014 - click here
  • NEW - 2014 Festival of Trees - the Nativity and tree on display - November 25, 2014 - click here
  • NEW - 2014 Festival of Trees - raffle drawing and delivery - November 30, 2014 - click here

Shannon shows us the tree and nativity set at his home in the Twin Cities.

The 2014 Rochester Woodcarvers tree
it its new home!

The 2014 Rochester Woodcarvers "The First Christmas" nativity set in
its new home!
and in ADDITION!

In addition to the "The First Christmas" raffle, a prior Rochester Woodcarvers project, "Santa's Workshop" (photo below), was donated back to Hiawatha Homes by its owner and Hiawatha Homes chose to make it available during the Festival of Trees as a "secret bid" item. Bidders would note their name and the amount they would be willing to pay for the workshop on a secret bid entry and the winner would notified and pick up Santa's Workshop at the end of the event. The ornaments from the "Santa's Workshop" were offered as a silent auction item and at the end of the Festival, a new owner would take them home!

That secret bid for Santa's Workshop generated
$2,000.00
for Hiawatha Homes.

That silent auction bid for the Santa's Workshop Ornaments generated
$400.00
for Hiawatha Homes.

Scroll down on this page to see all the details of the 2008 Santa's Workshop - and take a nice trip down memory lane for our earlier projects!



Thanks for this great idea to share a prior Rochester Woodcarvers project and reuse it to benefit Hiawatha Homes!


2013 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree



The 2013 Hiawatha Homes "Festival of Trees" was held November 27 - December 1, 2013 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, MN.

Hiawatha Homes Foundation sponsors this event to benefit Hiawatha Homes, Inc. whose mission is to provide residential, in-home, and community-based choices for people with disabilities. The success of each year's Festival of Trees makes a significant difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

The Rochester Woodcarvers Club prepared "The Old Country Church" as a raffle item for the 2013 Festival of Trees event.

The raffle includes the base, the church and contents, the tree and ornaments, and the tree top decoration.

There are 154 ornaments decorating the tree and a "Christmas Star" tree topper helping to make this a special and unique tree.

The raffle ticket drawing for the lucky winner was held on Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 2:00pm at the Mayo Civic - Exhibit Hall - and lucky Rochester resident Mindy won!

After a full year of work preparing the Rochester Woodcarvers project, a dedicated and active team sold "pre-event" raffle tickets and then a group of "Tree Advocates" assisted the Festival of Trees volunteers to sell a total of 1,766 raffle tickets to very kind and generous people. Those tickets sold generated
$8,830.00
for Hiawatha Homes.

Teresa Thompson provided some additional information this year - after expenses (raffle ticket printing, Olmsted County Gambling License and Minnesota State Gambling license) our raffle tree netted $8,198.00 for Hiawatha Homes.

Teresa wanted to offer a Hiawatha "Group Hug" from all those at Hiawatha Homes to all those who helped make this year's project happen.

A huge thanks to all the Rochester Woodcarvers who participated in preparing this year's project, sold tickets, and represented the club at the Festival of Trees. The Zumbro Valley Woodturners contributed many of the ornaments used this year and the Rochester Woodcarvers thank them for their tremendous support!

Here is a collection of photos of "The Old Country Church" and tree on display during the 2013 Festival of Trees:
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - setting up the tree at the event - November 25, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - the church and tree on display - November 26, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - raffle drawing and delivery - December 1, 2013 - click here

KTTC-TV helps with the promotion of the Festival of Trees and has prepared the following video:
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - KTTC NewsCenter At Noon Community Segments - November 20, 2013 - click here

To see construction photos showing "The Old Country Church" project progress, check out the following links:

  • 2013 Festival of Trees - initial plans for the "Old Country Church" - February 4, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - making the shingles for the church - February 4, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - church walls are going up - February 8, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - windows are cut and steeple is made - February 15, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - siding is cut and window trim is in - March 14, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - balcony bannister and parquet flooring - March 15, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - floor is installed, roof and shingles going on - April 5, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - finishing first side of roof and furniture - April 12, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - testing out organ and furniture placement - April 15, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - shaping the snowbanks and test fitting tree - May 3, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - adding hymnals, song board, music stand, ... - June 10, 2013 - click here
  • 2013 Festival of Trees - adding people to the church - November 11, 2013 - click here

Eric Berg (club member Gary Berg's son) created this great image of "The Old Country Church".  We will use this image as a poster at the Festival of Trees to help sell raffle tickets.

 



2012 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree



The 2012 Hiawatha Homes "Festival of Trees" was held November 20-25, 2012 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, MN.

The Rochester Woodcarvers created "The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe" nursery rhyme project for the Festival of Trees and Hiawatha Homes offered it to the public as a raffle item.

The shoe is 22" from heel to toe and 27" tall. The Old Lady and all her children are standing all around and inside the shoe. In addition, there are other nursery rhyme stories positioned around the shoe including Mary, Mary Quite Contrary; Three Blind Mice; Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater; Jack and Jill; and Humpty Dumpty. There are 189 ornaments decorating the tree and overlooking the entire project is Mother Goose reading a book as the tree topper. 

After a full year of work preparing the Rochester Woodcarvers project, a dedicated and active team sold "pre-event" raffle tickets and then a group of "Tree Advocates" assisted the Festival of Trees volunteers to sell 1639 raffle tickets to very kind and generous people. Those tickets sold generated
$8,195.00
for Hiawatha Homes.

Many visitors watched the eagerly anticipated raffle drawing to see if their name would be drawn. On Sunday, November 25, the winning ticket was selected and LaVerne won the prize!

A huge thanks to all the Rochester Woodcarvers who participated in preparing this year's project, sold tickets, and represented the club at the Festival of Trees. The Zumbro Valley Woodturners contributed many of the ornaments used this year and the Rochester Woodcarvers thank them for their tremendous support!
 
To see photos of the tree on display at the Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees check out the following links:

  • 2012 Festival of Trees at Mayo Civic Center Photos - November 19, 2012 - click here
  • 2012 Festival of Trees raffle ticket drawing and tree delivery - November 25, 2012 - click here

KTTC-TV produced a special segment about the Festival of Trees featuring the Rochester Woodcarvers project. Your can find a video of that segment at the following link:

  • 2012 Festival of Trees segment on KTTC-TV - November 14, 2012 - click here

To see construction photos showing the project progress, check out the following links:

  • 2012 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - September 28, 2012 - click here
  • 2012 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - June 12, 2012 - click here
  • 2012 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - April 27, 2012 - click here
  • 2012 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - March 19, 2012 - click here
  • 2012 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - March 16, 2012 - click here
  • 2012 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - February 26, 2012 - click here
  • 2012 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - February 6, 2012 - click here


2011 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree

 

The 2011 Hiawatha Homes "Festival of Trees" was held November 23-27, 2011 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, MN.

The Rochester Woodcarvers created a "Candyland Carousel" project for the Festival of Trees and Hiawatha Homes offered it to the public as a raffle item.

The carousel is an operating model, 28" in diameter with 16 animals on the rotating platform. As the platform turns, the animals move up and down with brass poles supporting them. The carousel is placed in the "Candyland Park" that has a collection of items that you might find there such as a ticket seller, a family visiting the park, two "Red Hat" ladies relaxing on a park bench, and a dragon holding a "Gold Ring" waiting for the brave rider to take it...

The carousel acts as a tree stand and supports a 6' tree decorated with 151 hand carved and turned ornaments.

After a full year of work preparing the Rochester Woodcarvers project, a dedicated and active team sold "pre-event" raffle tickets and then a group of "Tree Advocates" assisted the Festival of Trees volunteers to sell 2109 raffle tickets to very kind and generous people. Those tickets sold generated

$10,545.00

for Hiawatha Homes.

Many visitors watched the eagerly anticipated raffle drawing to see if their name would be drawn. On Sunday, November 27, the winning ticket was selected and a Hiawatha Homes resident - Larry - won the prize!

A huge thanks to all the Rochester Woodcarvers who participated in preparing this year's project, sold tickets, and represented the club at the Festival of Trees.
The Zumbro Valley Woodturners contributed many of the ornaments used this year and the Rochester Woodcarvers thank them for their tremendous support!

To see photos of the 2011 Carousel project, the drawing, and lucky winner, check out the following links:

  • 2011 Carousel project at the Festival of Trees - click here
  • 2011 Raffle drawing and lucky winner - click here
  • 2011 KTTC-TV news coverage - Tree delivery - click here

To see photos of the carousel project construction progress, check out the following links:

  • 2011 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - February 7 - click here
  • 2011 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - February 21 - click here
  • 2011 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - April 1 - click here
  • 2011 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - June 23 - click here
  • 2011 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - September 16 - click here
  • 2011 Festival of Trees Construction Photos - October 26 - click here
  • 2011 Festival of Trees on display at club meeting - November 19 - click here

To see YouTube videos of the construction progress, check out the following links:
  • 2011 Festival of Trees video - February 28 - click here
  • 2011 Festival of Trees video - July 1 - click here
  • 2011 Festival of Trees video - October 26 - click here


2010 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree

 

For 2010, the Rochester Woodcarvers built a "Woodcarver's Cottage" with the theme "Carving the Dream".

This was a special effort by the Rochester Woodcarvers to recognize Hiawatha Homes and their 25 years of service to the community. The 2010 Festival of Trees was held November 24-28 in Rochester, MN.

Starting with a base designed to portray a Scandinavian Woodcarver's Cottage, the club filled the cottage with carvings and accessories demonstrating all the tools and activities that would be involved with producing Christmas tree ornaments. 

The Christmas tree attached to the base was decorated with 191 ornaments and a commemorative tree topper celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Festival of Trees.

In prior years, the Woodcarvers tree was made available to Festival sponsors and then later, to bidders who participated in a live auction. You can see the history of all the trees later on this page.

For 2010, Hiawatha Homes offered the base and tree to visitors through a raffle.

As a result of a lot of dedicated people selling tickets and a lot of generous people buying those tickets, 2297 tickets were sold that generated


$11,485.00

for Hiawatha Homes.

On Sunday, November 28, the winning raffle ticket was drawn and
John Boelter of Rochester won the entire Rochester Woodcarvers project! It was delivered to his home to enjoy for Christmas! It only takes one ticket to win and he bought just one ticket!

Thanks to all the Rochester Woodcarvers for their support and effort in completing this community project on time and with such dedication for the Hiawatha Homes organization!

For a complete tour of the Woodcarver's Cottage, a review of the 191 ornaments, and an overall view of the Cottage/Tree project, please click on the following link.

Click here to see photos of the 2010 tree and ornaments.



2009 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree



The 2009 Festival of Trees theme was "Cabin In The Woods". The cabin was designed as a rustic log cabin representing the traditional 20x30 layout with a loft in a 1'=1" scale. The property has a lake with fish and boats. Check out the photos below to see all fine details and tree ornaments created by our club's creative and dedicated carvers.

Wayne Hendrickson reported that the tree generated $3,500 at the opening night gala live auction.
Click here to see photos of the 2009 tree and ornaments.



2008 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree



This year's theme was "Santa's Workshop". Here is a summary from Laurie Reed, our project chair:
"I would like to personally thank everyone involved with the tree this year.

The Festival of  Trees committee included: Laverne Schettl, Karen Reilly, Robert Ricks, Dennis Tooley, Delphine Nelson, Gary Berg and myself. It does not stop at the committee. I would like to also give a big thank you to Gary for the idea, the construction of the beautiful workshop (base) and the story to go along with Santa's workshop. Another big thank you to ALL the woodcarvers who participated in donating an ornament or ornaments. We had 160 ornaments total on the tree with 170 pieces on the base and in the workshop. Because the whole club is involved, the tree a success each and every year. I would like to extend a special thank you to the set up bunch that came to Gary and Nancy's to glue the pieces in the workshop: Karen Reilly, Delphine Nelson, Mary Severson and myself. Also, the set up crew at the Festival of Trees on November 24th included: Delphine Nelson, Laverne Schettl, Gary Berg, Mike "Elfie" and Mrs. Snyder, Vonnie Weeldreyer, Jim Walts and myself. We all had such a nice time with all the festive music and others setting up as well.

When the Festival of Trees live auction was held, Jack Remick bought our tree for $6000.00!

CONGRATULATIONS to our club for another successful tree for Hiawatha Homes! Merry Christmas to everyone.. Laurie Reed"


2007 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree



This year's theme was "Seasons on the Farm" and raised $6000.00 for Hiawatha Homes during the live auction.
Click here to see photos of the 2007 tree and ornaments.



2006 Rochester Woodcarvers Tree





Prior years of the Rochester Woodcarvers Tree

The Festival of Trees has been a major project for the Rochester Woodcarvers for many years. This link provides a photo history of trees prepared by the Rochester Woodcarvers - including the famous "Two by Two - Noah's Ark".
Click here to see a photo album/slideshow of all prior Festival of Trees.