It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Rochester.
The city’s Christmas tree arrived today and is standing tall between Wakefield and North Main streets, prepared for decorating.
As is the nearly 20-year tradition in Rochester, SUR Construction sent its low bed trailer, operated by Tim Watson, to transport the tree to its holiday home. This year, Tim did not have far to travel. The 25-foot blue spruce was graciously donated by Chris and Danielle Bowlen of Western Avenue in Rochester. The tree stood near their home for many years and has grown with the Bowlen family.
When the family moved into their home in 1999, Chris said he could easily decorate the whole thing without a ladder! Today, a crane and bucket truck staffed by Doug Gunnison, Chad Demers and Tom Healey of Urban Tree Company were needed to stand the tree in downtown Rochester.
In the spirit of the Christmas season, both companies donate their people, equipment, and time each year to make sure the city of Rochester’s Christmas tree is well taken care of. Sam Grenier, Dave Desjardin, Paul Michaud and Gregg Barron from Rochester DPW provided the labor and safety support to get the tree in the perfect position.
“The city of Rochester appreciates the donation of time, manpower and equipment that is provided by SUR and Urban Tree every year,” City Manager Daniel Fitzpatrick said. “Their annual support with this effort demonstrates their high level of commitment to their community.”
This tree has been a beloved part of the Bowlen’s home and was the backdrop for many family pictures. A few years ago, their neighbors, Mr. & Mrs. Roy Edgerly, were married in front of this tree. However, the tree had grown too large for the yard, and some of its branches were starting to die off. The family felt that serving as the city’s 2017 Christmas tree was a fitting sendoff.
“We will definitely miss the tree, but our family is pleased to see it serve as the centerpiece of Rochester’s Christmas display,” Chris Bowlen said.
Now the tree has to be decorated!
On Tuesday, Nov. 28, students from the Monarch School of New England will be on-hand to assist with the trimming of the tree. Each year the city of Rochester and local school children work together to make homemade decorations and bows for the Christmas tree.
This year’s decorations were created by the Rochester Childcare Center, the St. Elizabeth Seton School, the Jack and Jill Preschool, the Rochester Middle School and the Rochester Elementary Schools.
This year’s tree lighting event will be held on Friday, Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m.