Shelton trees to be featured at Governor’s Residence holiday open house this year

Connecticut residents can visit the Governor’s Residence decked out in its holiday best for three days in early December, with the trees decorated and on display donated by Terry Jones from Jones Family Farms in Shelton.

The annual holiday open house at the residence, 990 Prospect Ave., Hartford, will take place:

— Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

— Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

— Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014 from noon-4 p.m.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and First Lady Cathy Malloy said people are welcome to tour the residence.

“We are also proud to showcase not only our own family’s personal collection of Christmas decorations, but also the seasonal agricultural decorations that have been generously donated by local growers and small businesses.,” Gov. Malloy said.

No charge to attend

There is no admission fee and tickets are not needed. Santa will also be on hand for most of the weekend. Tours will be aided by about 30 volunteer docents, some of whom have volunteered for more than two decades.

The Connecticut National Guard will accept charitable donations for Operation ELF, its annual initiative that assists the families of soldiers and airmen who are deployed during the holidays. Operation ELF also provides a wide range of support to military families throughout the year.

In addition to monetary contributions, suggested donations for Operation ELF include grocery store gift cards, gas gift cards, department store gift cards, and gift cards for home essential services, such as heating oil, maintenance services, and snow removal.

Live entertainment, ADA accessible

Live entertainment will be provided at many times,, including by the Coast Guard Choir; Fairfield University Sweet Harmony, with the Bensonians; and many other performers.

The Residence, which is ADA accessible, will display six decorated Christmas trees, in addition to other holiday decorations. Also on display will be four gingerbread houses donated by the Pond House Café in Hartford’s Elizabeth Park, Carol Murdock of Classic Cakes in West Hartford, Max Downtown in Hartford, and Taste by Spellbound in Avon

Many greenhouse growers involved

This is the 24th year that the holiday decorations, including wreaths, Christmas trees and seasonal plants, have been donated to the Governor’s Residence at no cost to the state.

This year, those donations come from the Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association and its member growers: Casertano Greenhouses & Farms, CK Greenhouses, Geremia Greenhouse, Karabin Farms, Kurt Weiss/Angel Plants, Kurtz Farm, Michael’s Greenhouses, and Vaiuso Farms.

The Christmas trees have been donated by Terry Jones from Jones Family Farms in Shelton. Terry Jones serves on the state Board of Education, having been appointed by Malloy.

Those with additional questions about the open house can email or call 860-524-7355.

— as edited by Brad Durrell for the Shelton Herald