Traverse City Elks Lodge Donates Christmas Tree to Downtown Traverse City

It just wouldn’t be Christmas in Traverse City without the tree.

This year’s downtown Christmas tree is officially up.

Crews from Traverse City and Team Elmer’s set up the tree Monday morning.

The Elks Lodge in Traverse City donated the nearly 40-foot Blue Spruce tree.

9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson show us the process of delivering the tree to downtown.

For more than 50 years, a giant Blue Spruce tree sat right here calling the Elks Lodge home, but now it’s the centerpiece of downtown Traverse City for this year’s holiday season.

Starting bright and early Monday morning crews were hard at work cutting, trimming, and setting up this year’s Christmas tree.

“Took a bucket up, put a strap on the top of the tree, Elmer’s lifted it off the base, laid it on the truck, and it was gone. It was quite an operation,” Stan Simons, secretary at Traverse City Elks Lodge.

The Traverse City Elks Lodge says they had been talking about donating their nearly 40-foot tall Blue Spruce to the city for years.

“We enjoyed it for several years, decorated it, but it gotten so large that it was difficult for us to decorate it,” Simons says. “With the winds that we catch off the bay, maybe a little bit of a hazard too. So we are pleased we can start fresh with new growth.”

Now, this beauty is on display for everyone to enjoy.

“The installation of the tree in downtown Traverse City is always a really exciting morning,” says Colleen Paveglio with the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority. “We love it and we love that everybody kind of crowds around. Having a tree and having the tree lighting just kind of adds to that and I think it helps people just think local first and think about your city center and how important it is to this community.”

This Friday night you’re invited to attend the tree lighting ceremony in downtown Traverse City beginning at 5:30. Santa will be there visiting and singing Christmas carols.