Christmas in July: Town pulls together to re-light tree

McDONOUGH – Standing tall and proud at the four corners in McDonough is the town’s claim to fame: the stately Norway Spruce which residents say is the world’s largest living, longest lit Christmas Tree.

Lighting of the tree, which is believed to be nearly 120 years old, is a McDonough tradition which dates back to 1927, when the town was first wired for electricity. When the majestic conifer was last surveyed in 1996, it measured 100.3 feet, but current estimates put its height closer to 115 feet.

The tree has always been a great source of pride for local residents, but in recent years the lights adorning the tree, which remain up year-round, have fallen into disrepair. When local octogenarian Mariba Ford flipped the switch at last year’s tree lighting ceremony, held the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, only a few of the lights came on, according to her daughter, Patricia M. Ford.

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