Tulips and windmill cookies. Forks and spoons. These are a few of the favorite decorations area businesses and community groups added to some of the 45 holiday trees inside the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023.
“We love supporting local establishments,” said Myka Tommola of the Douglas branch of Macatawa Bank, 132 Blue Star Highway, as she and five of her coworkers trimmed a tree at the mansion.
Volunteers from the bank, Alpine Events and Tulip Time soaked up the aroma of cinnamon candles and twinkling lights to decorate their sponsored trees. Other businesses sponsoring trees are Holden Michael Events, New Holland Brewery, Parda Credit Union, Siena Café and The Butler Pantry.
For the first time, the mansion sought sponsors who would donate $250 or $500 to decorate a tree displaying their group name and logo.
“We’re glad to be partners with the Felt,” said Amanda Wood of Alpine Events, an event rental company at 3457 Roger B. Chaffee Memorial Blvd., Grand Rapids. Wood, Alyson Bennett and Antionette Bates made their own decorations out of forks and spoons for the tree.
In the room next door, six volunteers from Tulip Time of Holland affixed windmill cookies and planted tulips in the pine boughs.
“Tulip Time loves doing off-season things,” said Lorma Freestone, noting the festival of Dutch culture and community heritage takes place in May. “We love to do things in all seasons.”
Earlier in the month, individual volunteers strung lights on the trees and put garland around the mansion.
All the trees will be decorated when the 12,000-square-foot mansion opens its historic doors to the holiday season in December.
Holiday cheer starts out with the annual Winterfest from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2. The free event includes face painting, Santa and Mrs. Claus and horse-drawn wagon rides. Grab bags available for the first 500 children.
The event is sponsored by the Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission.
Special holiday tours and treats run throughout December. For a complete list of events and more information, visit www.feltmansion.org.
The mansion is planning to auction off some of the decorated trees to help fund the replacement of the fountain. To donate, click here.
The Felt Mansion was built in 1925 by Dorr Felt, inventor of the Comptometer, a basic adding machine. After Felt’s death, the property was purchased by the St. Augustine Seminary for a school then, in the 1970s, by the State of Michigan to use as a prison. After the prison and Michigan State Police post that was in the mansion closed in the 1990s, Laketown Township purchased the property.
The estate has been renovated and is a premier wedding and event facility on the lakeshore.