Living Christmas Tree event planned

16 years ago
    The Caribou United Baptist Church will present the Living Christmas Tree, an annual Aroostook County tradition dating back to 1975. Three shows will be held for this year’s presentation of “Shine on Us,” a musical for Christmas, and will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8, and at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, at the church’s 74 High Street location. This year’s event is directed by Yoosuf “Jay” Siddiqui.
    In the past the event has drawn thousands of spectators, and it is hoped by event organizers that this year will be no different. Hundreds of man-hours have already gone into the production, in construction of the tree itself as well as side sets and rehearsals for both the musical and theatrical parts of the performance.
The construction of the tree begins in the first week of December and includes setting up the wooden frame, followed by attaching artificial bows, stringing lights (this year there are 4,700 lights on the tree) and adding decorations. The end result is a 30-foot tree with room for about 60 choir members. Apart from the tree small sets have been constructed on each side of the tree, where dramatic performances will take place.
The frame of the tree was originally built in the summer of 1974 by William Crandall and Weston Hardy, and was designed by Paul Saunders.
Rehearsals begin for the choir at the beginning of October through the date of the performance, as they meet weekly for two hours.
All of the hard work that goes into the tree, sets and performance, is well worth it according to Kristi Herron, who is in charge of publicity for the event.
“I think it brings the whole community together as well as the whole church,” said Herron. This sense of unity during the holiday season prevails as young and old prepare for the event.
For more information call Pastor John Kiehn at 496-7881.