‘Tis the season: Church Street Christmas tree is up, lighting ceremony cancelled

Local News

The Church Street Christmas tree is up, but the annual tree lighting ceremony won’t be happening this year. The tree was donated from Michael and Alison Healy from South Burlington. 

Walter Commonwood was on Church Street, watching the tree go up. 

“First thing I thought was our tree here in little Burlington is better than the one they have in Manhattan,” Commonwood said. 

People of all ages came out to watch the tree being brought in including Larry and Linda Godard, the parents of the family who gave the tree.

“I know they are very appreciative of being able to donate the tree to a year that has not been such a favorable for everybody,” Larry Godard said. 

The lights will be put on the tree over the next few days and there will be approximately 250,000 LCD lights lining the street. Linda Godard was especially glad the tree went up this year.

“It’s a symbol of hope really, and it’s a tradition worth keeping,” Linda Godard said. 

One woman walking on Church Street said she didn’t even think the tradition would continue.

“I didn’t think they were going to bring down a tree this year because of the virus,” Kimberly Clark said. 

Director of the Church Street Marketplace, Kara Alnasrawi said she received lots of calls and emails about people being worried they weren’t going to do a tree this year, and she knew they had to.

“I think there has been a lot of anxiety and stress as everyone knows in society and the tree brings joy,” Alnasrawi said. 

Some other small traditions will continue like a holiday window contest and caroling with masked singers and social distancing. Alnasrawi said they are making sure the environment is safe for people.

“We are trying to create an inviting public space, even if you want to avoid crowds or whatever your comfort level is, if you don’t want to go shopping, you can take a stroll in the evening and see it all lit up,” Alnasrawi said. 

When people see the 35 ft. blue spruce, Alnasrawi hopes it will leave an impression on people. 

“That they dont worry about things for a little while and are just distracted, lights are magical,” Alnasrawi said. 

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