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Annual Church Street Christmas tree to arrive Friday

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 8:20 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Decorations are going up for Christmas already, including a big one you can’t miss.

The Church Street Christmas tree will be going up Friday morning in Burlington, but the annual tree lighting ceremony won’t be happening this year.

“We just knew there had to be a tree,” said Kara Alnasrawi, the director of The Church Street Marketplace, In a world of uncertainty, one thing was never up for discussion. Alnasrawi says the tree was going up. “We needed the street to be festive, be welcoming. We felt as though it’s what people needed right now.”

And they didn’t look too far to find their tree. Across the town line in South Burlington, a tree creeping too close to one family’s home, made for the perfect candidate. “We were just ecstatic that it was just going to have such a happy ending,” said Alison Healy.

She and her husband Michael moved into their new home in September and the massive tree towering higher than the chimney needed a trim. But previous homeowners and good friends of the Healy’s didn’t want to see the tree go. Eventually, the perfect opportunity came around.

“Residents of the house before us were particularly attached to the tree, so we had to work on them a bit that the tree might be coming down, and they were really excited to see it go to the Marketplace,” said Michael. And suddenly, they were a part of the magic that is the holiday spirit. “We’ve always wondered how a tree gets there, so it was pretty exciting to you know, connect the dots.”

The Healys say they are happy to be playing a part in their community and are excited to see their tree up in lights. And now it’s time for the next chapter right in their own backyard. “Now, it’s about new beginnings, right? So, maybe a new tree or a new journey or something else,” said Michael.

The tree will be arriving on Friday. If you choose to come to downtown Burlington to check out the tree, make sure you have your mask and are staying socially distanced.

Alnasrawi says she understands with COVID cases rising, not everyone wants to visit the Queen City. But she says she hopes through social media and other means of shopping and supporting local businesses, everyone can enjoy it. She encourages people to call local businesses to use curbside pick-up, order takeout, and shop early to control the number of people. And she says they are ready for whatever the holiday season brings.

“We are ready to pivot at any time, but we will not be closed for business, even if physical stores are closed. Although we don’t anticipate that is going to happen, we don’t have any indication of that right now. And I want to make sure people understand that every dollar that you spend locally, a large percentage of that stays local, so it’s very important to spend their dollars locally especially this year,” said Alnasrawi.

She says if you are coming down to Church St., expect a wait because of limited capacity in stores, and they are always making lists and checking in to see what stores here on church street are offering.

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