It’s not often that you see a 44-foot Christmas tree on display horizontally, but that’s exactly what some folks noticed when they drove past Naperville’s Municipal Center between late last Wednesday night and very early Thursday morning. The City of Naperville’s official Christmas tree was down for the count of ten.
Some folks may have thought it was by design, considering Naperville pride’s itself in being the first to do things differently, and a horizontal Christmas tree is definitely different. If that was the case, then the saying “you don’t want to be the first kid on the block with a new pogo stick” would again appropriately apply to Naperville.
No, this was the end result of a ‘perfect storm’, a tall tree, high winds, and inadequate support cables. At the time it probably seemed like a good idea by Naperville city officials. When the tree was standing, it looked pretty good. A short while later, it didn’t look so good. It definitely was an eye-catcher.
Naperville is not the first city to have a horizontal tree. Other cities have had that happen too, but that’s usually after a tornado or hurricane.
Interestingly, last year, the City of Aurora had their official “holiday tree” topple over due to strong winds estimated at between 40 and 50 mph. Apparently another old saying went unheeded by Naperville city officials; ‘those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it’.
You can’t control the wind, but you can control the size of the tree. If you do choose a big tree, then you can definitely control the support cables.
The good news is that nobody was hurt, and Naperville was able to resurrect the tree in all of its glory. Not so for Aurora. Their beautiful blue spruce had to be recycled and turned into mulch and aromatic tooth picks.