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City of Springfield Erects Christmas Tree in Square, Kicking Off Holiday Season

Josh Conaway

Park Central Square is officially in holiday mode now that the City of Springfield has the official Christmas tree on display there.

At the square November 17, men in hardhats pulled ropes to steady the three story tall spruce tree dangling from a crane, while a worker trimmed off part of the trunk with a chainsaw. The tree was donated by Patrick and Christina Wilkins. 

Kirk Juranas, assistant director of public works says the placing of the Christmas tree in the square has been happening for decades.

“We prefer to have a natural tree," Juranas said "This year we have a Norway spruce. It’s about 35 feet tall.” 

Kristen Milam, a spokeswoman for the city, says 2020 has been a challenging year with the pandemic, but the city is finding ways to continue a holiday tradition. 

“It’s kind of a symbol of hope, I think personally, for the community,” Milam told KSMU. 

This year, the ceremonial lighting of the tree by the mayor will be broadcast on KY3 from 7-8 PM, to keep a live crowd from spreading COVID-19. 

City workers drilled the bottom of the spruce with a support base, before the tree was finally hoisted upright, directly in the center of the Square. It will stand there through the New Year. 

Josh Conaway is a graduate of Missouri State University with a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in International Affairs. He works as a news reporter and announcer at KSMU. His favorite part of the job is exploring the rich diversity of the Ozarks and meeting people with interesting stories to share. He has a passion for history and running.