Photo by Alex Copeland

Winter Park has lit the same red cedar tree in their Central Park for the past 29 years as part of their annual holiday celebrations, but thanks to Irma, that tradition is out on the curb with the rest of the tree debris.

The tree sustained heavy damage from the hurricane and will no longer be trimmed for the holidays as it would be unable to support the decorations. Instead, the city will be using an interim plastic tree that comes with its own holiday music and light display made possible with 5,000 LED lights. That tree will inevitably be replaced by another living tree, but that will need some years to establish itself before it can bare the weight of the the holiday installation.

The Chamber of Commerce went so far as to say:

“… offering a new glow for all to enjoy during the holiday nights.”
– Katherine Keller, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce

The City of Winter Park and the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce will be hosting farewell ceremony to the tree on Saturday, October 21 at noon.

The original evergreen was donated to the City by TV news anchor Bob Opsahl in 1988 and has served as an impromptu landmark, fort, ladder, and Christmas tree every since. The tree will not be cut down but will remain in place until further notice. The City had predicted the tree’s inevitable decline a number of years ago and planted a replacement but it has performed less than satisfactorily and is not in the plump shape needed to serve as a centerpiece for their festivities.

See the official statement from the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, below.



Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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