Zoom burst shot of the Ferndale Christmas Tree, America's tallest living tree. | Photos courtesy of local photographer Isaac Winans | Illustration by Megan Bender

America’s tallest living Christmas tree continues to shine bright

Ferndale gets into the holiday spirit on Dec. 2.
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Ferndale gets into the holiday spirit on Dec. 2

Like a flare in the dark night, America’s tallest living Christmas tree was lit up. Once the tree was glowing in the night, the energy spread through the crowd. Christmas time was here at last.

On Dec. 2 the city of Ferndale continued its 84th annual Christmas tradition of the lighting of America’s tallest living Christmas tree.

Crowds of people were scattered around town, going into mom and pop shops. As soon as the sun went down and the Christmas music became louder, everyone started to make their way to the tallest living Christmas tree.

Main street Ferndale became a collection of people huddled together, trying to keep warm on the chilly night. As soon as 5:30 p.m. hit, the anticipation for the lighting of the tree had grown, and newly appointed Mayor of Ferndale, Michael Sweeney took the stage to start the festivities.

“I want to thank everyone for coming out to this year’s annual Christmas tree lighting,” Sweeney said. “This tradition that we have held since 1934 has always brought Christmas spirit to the city of Ferndale and I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas.”

After Sweeney’s message to the crowd, the Chameleon singers took the stage to begin Christmas caroling. The carolers began with “Jingle Bells” and encouraged the crowd to sing along. As soon the carolers and the crowd became synced together, everyone felt the Christmas spirit.

Soon after the caroling ended, the lights that lit the festivities where cut, and anticipation grew as a countdown ensued to the lighting of the tree.

President of Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, Paul Beatie attended the lighting ceremony.

“Ferndale seems to capture that essence of Christmas spirit each year we do this lighting,” Beatie said. “The small-town American feel, Christmas decorations everywhere, along with free hot cocoa, how can one not get into the Christmas spirit here in Ferndale?”

Immediately after the lighting fake snow was scattered on the crowd, and Alvin and The Chipmunks, filled the ears of the crowd. Free hot cocoa and homemade cookies were provided by the 4-H and Ferndale’s Community Pride, making the atmosphere more invigorating.

Angela Chism was at the lighting ceremony with her husband and her two kids. They have attended the Ferndale tradition since they moved to the area from San Francisco six years ago.

“Down in the bay area you can always tell when it’s Christmas because of all the decorations and crazy traffic from shoppers,” Chism said. “Here in Ferndale, not only can you tell its Christmas, but you can actually get into the Christmas Spirit.”

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