CANTON It truly is one of the best kept secrets in Stark County. The Holly Pine Lane Christmas tree exhibit hosted by the Canton Garden Center includes an exhibit of wonderfully decorated Christmas trees along with a host of activities.

The Canton Garden Center has been offering the free exhibit for 30 years. The trees are decorated by different garden clubs in Stark County and then set up in an exhibit at the Canton Garden Center. In addition to viewing the trees, the club offers wreaths for sale and an Evergreen Bazaar and Sugar Shack for visitors to purchase Christmas gifts or décor as a way to raise funds for maintaining the center.

Plus, visits can find holiday arrangement workshops, live music by local choirs, a special free kids’ day and of course, the man of the season, Santa Claus arrives the evening of the first day of the event. Santa participates in lighting the park’s holiday display.

“The event is always free and open to the public every year, I call it the best kept secret in the county,” said Nancy Maltese, co-chair of the event (Linda Dull is other co-chair). “We always hold it the weekend before Thanksgiving. This is our gift to the community. The local garden clubs put up the trees and decorate the center for the holidays.”

Maltese said the garden clubs find many ways to repurpose many of the items. This year, the big, center tree which is decorated by the Canton Garden Center included ornaments and gingerbread men and candy canes made from recycled cardboard and pool noodles.

Visitors were asked at the door to vote for their top three favorite trees. Maltese said over the four days the event is open, between 600 and 700 people walk through to see the trees.

The Garden Center is a beautiful building made even more so by the glorious trees on display. While this year’s event is finished, there is always next year. For more details about this best kept secret, visit under Events.