By Debbie Adams
In 2021, the Vinton History Museum won second place in the annual Hotel Roanoke Fashions
for Evergreens competition. The event is a fundraiser for the United Way of Roanoke Valley,
having raised over $85,000 over the past decade.
The museum had submitted an application to join the event that year, but was put on a waiting
list. Someone dropped out at the last minute, giving the museum the opportunity to enter the
competition. Being a winner in the 2021 competition put it on the list of participants for
Volunteers at the museum have been working diligently for months on this year’s entry,
According to Vinton Historical Society Program Director Mary Beth Layman, “‘Treedazzled’ is
what happens when you combine traditional handmade crocheted doilies and costume jewelry to
create repurposed and creative Christmas tree ornaments. The Vinton History Museum tree
features over 140 individually unique ornaments thoughtfully handcrafted by museum
volunteers. The tree also features 360 handmade crocheted ornaments from the Stelma Gobble
collection which is housed at the museum.”
Gobble’s daughter, Linda Kreider, was on hand to help decorate the tree. Gobble worked at the
Hotel Roanoke for 30 years until it closed in 1989 for a time. Kreider donated her mother’s
crocheted ornaments (angels, bells, snowflakes, and snowballs) to the museum.
Volunteers and members of the museum board of directors have been meeting once a month
since last spring to create the ornaments, which include pieces of costume jewelry donated by the
community. They used glue and hot glue, doilies, ribbon, and jewelry to create enough
ornaments to completely cover the tree.
Junes Eanes’ family donated several red cardinal pins to the museum which were used on
ornaments, as well. Eanes was a dedicated volunteer at the museum for years.
A large group of volunteers gathered at the Hotel Roanoke on Nov. 19 to decorate the 10-foot
tree provided by the hotel. They decorated the upper section of the tree while it was on the floor.
Hotel employees then lifted the tree onto the Hokie stone wall and decorating continued,
involving ladders and extension poles.
In addition to the tree, each organization creates a display surrounding the tree. Vinton’s features
more homemade bejeweled decorations and a wooden clock, representing Vinton’s town clock
which stands at the Municipal Building.
The Fashions for Evergreens trees will be on display at the Hotel Roanoke during the holiday
season from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day. The community is encouraged to tour
the display and cast a monetary vote for their favorite tree with proceeds benefitting the United
Way. The People’s Choice winner will be announced on New Year’s Day. (You may also vote
Layman has said that one of the benefits of being invited to provide a tree for Fashions for
Evergreens is the publicity it brings to your cause or organization. Participants are allowed to
leave brochures at the exhibits to make the public aware of what they do and where they are
Mark Frye, owner of Creative Occasions Events, Flowers, and Gifts, on Lee Avenue in
downtown Vinton, has participated in Fashions for Evergreens for several years and has more
than one tree in Fashions for Evergreens this year, including the prestigious lobby tree.
Stop by the Hotel Roanoke over the holidays, view the nearly 30 trees on display, and vote for
the Vinton trees.