City's Christmas tree in place; trimming begins Monday

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Workers from SUR Construction oversee the tree's transport to downtown. (Courtesy photo)

ROCHESTER - The City of Rochester's Christmas tree arrived downtown this week, donated by a Rochester resident and transported by volunteers to its new seasonal home at Parson Main Square.

This year, resident Richard Rioux, of Salmon Falls Road, graciously donated the 22-foot blue spruce. Rioux planted the tree in his yard in 2000 when he purchased his home. At the time, it was only two feet tall.

Over the last 18 years, the tree became so large that it began to block natural light from his home. Impressed with its perfect shape, Rioux figured it would be a great addition to the city's downtown holiday display.

On Tuesday the tree made its way downtown thanks to Urban Tree Company's Doug Gunnison, Josh Fuller and Tom Healey who cut down the spruce from Rioux's yard. SUR Construction sent their low bed trailer operated by Tim Watson to transport it.

Rochester Police escorted the trailer from Rioux's home to downtown to ensure a safe transport, and once on site, Dave Desjardin, Paul Michaud, Joseph Sanborn and Tom Martineau from the Rochester Department of Public Works got the tree in perfect position.

On Monday students from the Monarch School of New England will be on hand to assist with the trimming and decorating of the tree. Each year, the City of Rochester and local school children work together to make homemade decorations and bows.

Rochester Childcare Center, the REACH Preschool, the University of Maine team from Rochester Middle School and the Rochester Elementary Schools created this year's decorations.

"We greatly appreciate all the members of our city departments, businesses and schools who donate their time every year to help make the holiday season a little brighter with our downtown Christmas tree," City Manager Blaine Cox said. "We're so looking forward to the tree lighting and can't wait to see what students come up with for decorations."

The tree lighting event will be held on Friday, Nov. 30 at 5:30 p.m.

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