In preparation for the annual Christmas Tree lighting on Saturday, Nov. 24, the City of Nampa, with help from Qualitree, will cut down a donated blue spruce tree and put it up at its new Downtown location Tues., Nov. 13. Weather permitting, the tree will be safely downed and transported from its current location at the corner of 14th Ave. S and 3rd St. S. to 12th Ave. S and Front St.
Thom & Marian Holzschuh are donating the 50-foot evergreen for the tree lighting celebration. The Holzschuh’s had been thinking of downing the leaning tree for a few years. The Holzschuh’s decided to reach out to Parks staff this summer and offered the tree for this year’s tree lighting.
Jon Wakelam, owner of Qualitree, donates his services every year to cut down and transport the Christmas tree to its temporary home for the Christmas season.
The Nampa Parks Division will decorate the tree with approximately 2,500 lights prior to Thanksgiving and the lights will be switched on at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, and wrap up Shop Small Saturday activities in Downtown Nampa.
The tree lighting ceremony will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will feature entertainment from Dreamweaver Theatrical Productions and Victory Arts Charter School Choir, a kickoff of the Salvation Army’s Kettle Drive and free hot chocolate and cider. Immediately following the tree lighting, Santa & Mrs. Claus will be making a special appearance and available for photos in front of the tree where parents can take photos. The Canyon County Historical Society Museum will be open and available for tours.
Free horse-driven carriage rides will be available Sat., Nov. 24 between 3 and 5 p.m. in Downtown Nampa, thanks to the Downtown Business Association and the following sponsors: Idaho Central Credit Union, Qualitree, D.L. Evans Bank, HDR, Washington Trust Bank, Intermountain Gas Co., Borders Equine Clinic and Texas Roadhouse.
Last year, an anonymous private donation of $22,391 covered the expense to create a permanent home for the Downtown Christmas tree. A custom manhole was installed so the large annual Christmas tree can be prominently displayed in Downtown Nampa.
With the tree in the middle of 12th Avenue at Front Street, thru-traffic will be diverted to 11th and 13th avenues to access the parking lots, and Front Street, but business access will remain open. The day of the tree lighting, additional detours/closures will be made starting at noon. The public is encouraged to take advantage of free parking all day in the Downtown Garage November 24.