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Town Christmas tree makes its way to downtown Houlton

HOULTON, Maine — It may not have any sparkling lights affixed to it just yet, but the newest addition to downtown Houlton is a sure sign that the holiday season is just around the corner.

Although it may not have the fanfare or stature of the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City, Houlton’s Christmas tree has been a staple of the downtown for generations. At one time, there were actually three massive trees in Market Square decorated for the holiday.

This year’s 30-foot balsam fir tree, once again donated by Bruce and Jean Collett of Houlton, was placed in Market Square Wednesday morning signaling the start of the yuletide season. The Colletts have supplied the past five Christmas trees to the town.

“They planted these trees probably 30 years ago,” explained Jane Torres, executive director for the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce. “They have graciously allowed us to come pick one each of the last five years.”

Torres added she has had her eye on this particular tree for a couple of years, but was waiting  for it to reach just the right height. She said there were enough trees on the property to supply the town with beautiful Christmas trees for at least the next five years.

To help prevent this year’s tree from snapping at the top, which happened a year ago and required some clever handiwork by the town’s public works department to reconstruct it, a new, lighter ornament will adorn the top.

In addition, a tree will be placed on North Street, near the traffic light intersection of the Houlton Shopping Plaza. That tree was donated by Sandra Morris of Houlton.

Lights will be added to both trees on Saturday morning, but will not officially be illuminated until Saturday, Nov. 27, at the conclusion of the Chamber’s annual Holiday Light Parade.

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