By Brandy McDonnell
In a downtown Oklahoma City window, a line of Christmas trees glimmers not with the typical tinsel and candy canes but with cornhusk dolls, painted gourds and clear orbs filled with sweetgrass, tobacco and cedar.
Red Earth Art Center is celebrating the season by bringing back an old tradition with a native twist: The inaugural Red Earth Treefest is showcasing the distinctive cultures of five Oklahoma American Indian tribes on evergreens decorated with handmade ornaments.
“For 30 years, we were located in the Kirkpatrick Center before we moved downtown, and one of the things we enjoyed participating in the most was an event there they called Holiday Treefest,” said Red Earth Deputy Director Eric Oesch, referring to the place now known as Science Museum Oklahoma.
“It drew thousands of people from all over the state. We had a tree in that … but it featured the different cultures of Oklahoma. So, there was the French tree and the Polish tree and the Mexican tree. And they were just beautiful. Well, they quit doing their event, so we decided we might want to try something along that same line.”