A Christmas tree has now been placed in front the Civic Center in downtown Great Falls - but not before a bit of "tree trouble."
“This year, unfortunately, the process did not go as originally planned,” said Kellie Pierce, director of the Downtown Great Falls Association. “We learned once the tree was cut down that it was very dry and brittle, therefore, did not do well during transport. Ultimately, it was determined that the tree would not be safe for City employees to put lights on and could potentially be a hazard to passersby if the wind and snow were to blow broken branches from the tree."
She continued, "The decision was made to procure a different tree from the community and replace the original one. We are grateful for the community members that call each year to potentially donate their trees and look forward to continuing the grand tradition of Santa lighting our tree at the Parade of Lights.”
Pierce added, “I know there's always the jokes about last year's crooked tree, which sometimes, because of the wind, they just grow that way. So hopefully 'Tree 2.0' is going to be big and beautiful and will be the talk of the town.”
A news release from DGFA states for many years, the City of Great Falls has enjoyed the tradition of lighting the downtown Christmas Tree that sits in front of the Civic Center. The tree is donated by a community member.
Then the Downtown Great Falls Association, with support from business volunteers, coordinates the cutting down, transporting, and installing of the tree in front of the Civic Center.
The DGFA said it is proud to have such charitable companies and volunteers every year to help with this project. There are many hours and hands that are involved, including members of the Park & Recreation staff, who string the lights and remove the tree at the end of the holiday season.
Now that DGFA and the volunteers have installed the new tree, City Park & Recreation Forestry staff can begin stringing the lights on the tree.
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The Downtown Great Falls Parade of Lights will be on Saturday, November 26th. This year's theme is "Rudolph's Christmas Forest. To register a float contact firstname.lastname@example.org (deadline is November 18).
The annual Christmas Stroll will be on Friday, December 2nd, from 5pm until 9pm.
Christmas Stroll buttons are available for $5 each; buying a button enters you into a drawing for several prizes. Buttons are available at the following businesses: Candy Masterpiece; City Bar; The Club Cigar; Dragonfly Dry Goods; The Wild Hare; First Interstate Bank (downtown); Kaufmans Menswear Centre; Mighty Mo Brewing Company; Montana Mosaic; My Viola Floral Studio; Pizazz; and Destination Downtown Great Falls The artist for this year's button is Alyssa Clark.