Joliet may not have a holiday parade this year but it does have its Christmas tree.
The city tree was cut down and moved downtown on Wednesday.
The tree is typically the centerpiece for the Light-Up the Holidays Festival and Parade held each year the day after Thanksgiving but canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, there will be a live-streamed tree lighting ceremony tentatively scheduled for Dec. 4 with a small number of attendees due to public gathering restricts.
Lee and Gail Shaw of 2116 Westfield Road hope to be there. They provided the 40-foot blue spruce that now is in the Van Buren Plaza downtown.
"We were glad to do it," said Lee, who planted the tree in 1969 when they built the house in the Westfield subdivision when the tree was less than 8 feet tall.
But it kept growing, of course.
"It's too big for the corner of the house, and it was taking over the whole corner – the roof, the gutters," Lee said.
The Shaws knew it had to go but did not want to see it just reduced to wood chips.
"My wife, Gail, and I decided it was such a nice tree that there had to be something else we could do," Lee said.
City Arborist Jim Teiber agreed, and the Shaw's tree became the city Christmas tree.
The giving spirit of the season shows itself in the annual tree donation.
Chellino Crane, D Ryan Tree & Landscape and Poplar Farms Nursery all donated labor or equipment for the occasion.
Teiber noted Chellino Crane of Joliet has been especially helpful over the last 10 years, donating what otherwise would be a costly service to safely move and set up the city tree.
"They've saved us a lot of hassle, a lot of money," Teiber said. "It's greatly appreciated."
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