OH, CHRISTMAS TREE

s this year’s Christmas tree — destined for One Chamber Square in Seymour — recently made its way down U.S. 50 on the back of a flatbed trailer, Doug Gregory with the Seymour Department of Public Works was just a little concerned.

“It was 4,000 pounds and so tall on its side it was scraping the street lights as it passed,” said Gregory of the tree that is serving as the centerpiece of the city’s holiday decorations.

The tree, which stands more than

30 feet tall, is the second largest Christmas tree donated to the city of Seymour for the Christmas season in recent years.

“One of the trees we had in the ’90s took a firetruck to put the star at the top. It was taller, but I don’t know how tall,” Gregory said.

The year’s tree was donated by the Thias family, who live on the city’s far west side.

“It was actually (in) a really good location. We only had to make two turns to get it downtown,” Gregory said.

The tree serves as the centerpiece of the city’s One Chamber Christmas program on the Monday after Thanksgiving each year and then remains up through the holidays.

“We appreciate it when people donate their trees,” said Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman. “It saves the city thousands of dollars a year, and we just couldn’t be happier. People have stepped up every year to donate.”

People wishing to donate Christmas trees can contact the Seymour DPW starting in January at 812-524-1100. If more trees are donated, a waiting list for donations can be put together.

Employees with the department of public works handle cutting down the tree and cleaning up afterwards each year. Employees with Foster Brothers, a local firm, removes the tree with a crane and moves it downtown on a truck, also free of charge, since the city doesn’t have that kind of equipment.

“Basically, the only thing we don’t do is remove the stump,” Gregory said of the process.

The 28-inch wide trunk of the year’s tree had to be whittled down to fit the 14-inch hole in the stand before the tree was stood up and decorated by DPW employees.

As many as a 1,000 local residents attend One Chamber Christmas celebration each year. The event features a visit by Santa who turns on the lights on the tree with the help of one child picked out of those attending.

“It’s a neat atmosphere, and it (gets) people mingling and hopefully shopping and taking advantage of the shops downtown,” Luedeman said.

The tree will remain downtown decorated throughout the holidays.

“It’s a very nice tree and one of the better ones we’ve had,” Luedeman said.

Author photo
Aaron Piper is a photographer and reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at apiper@tribtown.com or 812-523-7057.