Met volunteers shape Christmas display

Other Staff

Walking into the bright room, multiple decorated Christmas trees and wreaths catch the eye, lining the walls of the first floor of the Fresno Metropolitan Museum. With Christmas only a few days away, the Fresno Metropolitan museum is getting in the spirit by holding the 22nd annual Christmas at the Met.

Eight Christmas trees fill the main room of the exhibit, seven ten-feet tall trees around the outer edges of the room. One 15-foot tall tree in the middle of the room displays red and white ornaments and blue ribbons scattered throughout the tree, coordinating with this year’s exhibit theme: “An American Tribute.”

One wall of the exhibit is lined with thirteen colorful wreaths, each representing one of the 13 original colonies and displaying something each colony was famous for. Virginia, the “Old Dominion State,” has a wreath decorated with portraits of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both originally from Virginia.

Met Club volunteers work every year to put on this event in order to raise funds for the museum’s various other exhibits. Many people contribute to the Christmas exhibit, and this year around $100,000 was given to put the display on. The Metropolitan Club, a group of women volunteers, organizes Christmas at the Met every year.

“We always try to put an educational element into whatever theme we choose for that year,” Elena Eaton, Met Club volunteer, said. “The public seems to love this Christmas tradition.”

Many families come back to the Christmas exhibit every year, but for some this is their first time experiencing the exhibit.

“I’ve been at the museum before, but never to the Christmas tree display,” Mathew Mossette of Clovis said. “It’s really fantastic; the museum did a great job.”

Mossette says he plans to return next year, along with his two daughters who were accompanying him, Mya, 3, and Madison, 5.

The balcony on the third floor of the museum continues the exhibit, displaying huge wreathes and various other trees, each dedicated to an important person in history including the Andrew Jackson, Dolly Madison and Betsy Ross trees.

Some of the wreathes include the Judicial wreath, which is covered in a Justice’s robe and copies of the Constitution, and the Liberty Bell wreath which features a miniature replica of the Liberty Bell and a large knitted banner running across the middle of it reading “A Chime That Changed the World.”

Many spectators enjoy the Christmas decorations, but share some complaints.

“The decorations are OK, but I don’t like the girl colors,” Josiah Esau, 7, from Fresno said. “I came here last year too but all I remember was a choir singing.”

Josiah plans to return next Christmas with his dad who was accompanying him.

Christmas at the Met will be held through Dec. 27, with admission prices running from free admission for those under 3 years, to 7 dollars for adults 13-61 years of age. The Met is open between 11 A.M. and 5 P.M. every day except Thursdays when it is open until 8 P.M. and admission from 5-8 is only $1

For more information on Christmas at the Met, contact the Metropolitan Club at 441-1444, ext. 214 or go online at