Chesterton Tribune



Downtown Christmas tree has a story to tell

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It all started with a phone call to the Duneland Chamber of Commerce in mid-summer, when Jenny Vidimos left a message stating that she had an evergreen in her front yard she hoped could be of some use, knowing it needed to be cut down. “This 30 foot evergreen started as just a little $20 KMart tree we planted 24 years ago. It’s grown to be a beauty but got too big for the space between our house and our neighbor’s house,” Vidimos said.

Vidimos explained that this tree was special to her family and their neighbors on Hogan Ave., and told of the effort that went into decorating it for the season and the enjoyment everyone received from it each year. This is where the idea was sparked to donate the tree to an organization that could use it to light up the holidays for the community.

Duneland Chamber President Maura Durham was ecstatic to receive the donation towards this year’s Hometown Holiday Celebration. But the idea wouldn’t have come to fruition without the town departments and many businesses pitching in to bring this tree to its full Christmas glory.

“We would like to thank the Town Council and Parks Board for having the faith that we could pull this off safely and that it would in fact be the shining star of the holiday season dŽcor in the downtown,” Durham said. “The transport wouldn’t have been possible without help from the entire street department, park department, and police department, in addition to our towing friends Joe Wagner and John Bell.”

“It was quite thrilling to see the operation to get it down and transported,” said Vidimos.

Lights and decorations

But it’s not a Christmas tree without thousands of lights, bows, and a shiny star on top. Mark Hopkins, owner of Hopkins ACE Hardware, dedicated his personal time and resources to make sure this tree had a one-of-a-kind welded metal star that would light up the night through hundreds of lights woven into the border, all created by his own hand. The hundreds of red bows were donated by Shady Lawn, and hand tied by Kathy Czaplenski.

Tree lighting Saturday, 5 p.m.

This Saturday, November 25, the tree will become the Chesterton Christmas tree downtown, with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. The tree lighting will take place at 5 p.m., immediately followed by the Twilight Christmas Parade to step off from Chesterton Middle School at 5:15 p.m.



Posted 11/24/2017




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