GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Thanksgiving hasn’t even arrived yet and the Christmas tree in Grants Pass is going up. 10-year-old Christine Willaman is taking pictures as the Grants Pass Christmas tree goes up.
“It’s really fun and really cool to come out here and put up this amazing Christmas tree,” said Willaman.
But creating a picture-perfect tree isn’t easy.
“I’ve sheared this for four seasons, four times I’ve climbed the tree, and sheared it back to give it this look, and have it fill in,” said George Jones, the owner of Jones Forest Productions.
After nurturing the tree for four years, it’s is being lifted by a crane and getting its big debut as a Christmas tree in downtown Grants Pass. George Jones harvests big Christmas trees for a living, delivering them across the United States; that’s why he says, he wanted to make sure his own town had a tree to talk about.
“I saw the tree they had over here at the town center and I said, ‘I gotta do something about this,’” Jones recalled. “It was a pathetic-looking Douglas fir; it kind of looked like a Charlie Brown tree.”
That was four years ago. Every year since, Jones and Plum Creek Timber have donated their resources providing the city with a tree nearly double the size of the original trees used.
“Christmas is a very important part of Grants Pass. It’s very festive and to see people show up and really appreciate that,” said Eric Hippler, with Plum Creek Timber.
The nearly 40-foot white fir comes from Butte Falls and at an estimated 2,000 pounds, it takes a trip into the air before landing back on the ground on 6th and G Streets. The next step will be to deck the streets.
“Thousands of bulbs and lots of lights, I’m not even sure how many lights; we have zip lines that go across the buildings and those are all lit up,” described Jennifer Marks, with the Grants Pass Towne Center Association.
The tree lighting will be next Friday at 7 p.m. Festivities will start in downtown Grants Pass at 6 p.m. on November 30th. For a look at the dates, times, and locations of other holiday festivities, click here.