Portland’s “tree” arrived in Monument Square this morning. In the city’s nearly 400-word press release on the matter, neither “holiday” nor “Christmas” was used to describe the 40-foot blue spruce.
The release does refer to the “holiday” season twice and states that Santa Claus will be on hand next Friday for the official lighting ceremony, though.
Barbara Ripley of Harris Avenue in Portland donated the tree this year. City crews cut and transported the towering evergreen up Forest Avenue from Riverton this morning with the help of a truck donated by Shaw Brothers Construction. Once in the square, the fir was lifted into place — pro bono — by Keely Crane Services.
The tree will dazzle under 3,000 LED lights, donated by Efficiency Maine, when it officially gets lit on on Friday, Nov. 25 at 5 p.m. The festive shindig will include music from Rick Charette and the Bubblegum Band.