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Downtown holiday tree arrives in Santa Barbara to kick off the season

Santa Barbara, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Downtown Organization welcomed the annual holiday tree to get a jump start on the upcoming festive season leading up to Christmas.

The 42-foot White Fir tree arrived on a truck from Grants Pass, Oregon where it was grown on a special farm.  10 new trees were planted to replace this one.

The tree is 24-years old and groomed for this special occasion.

The tree is sponsored by Consumer Fire Products, a Santa Barbara-based fire protection company, that has full-service systems to protect homes and businesses during wildland and other fires. This is the ninth year the company has funded the tree delivery and the downtown lighting ceremony.


Owner Irene Rhoads said, "we have all been through Covid and  inflation and we have all had a very busy year and hopefully it will bring some joy  that's really why we do it  - just from our hearts to give to the city."

The Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department's Tree crew  and Public Works department installed the tree in a special metal sleeve on State Street near Victoria

The Big Red Crane Company hoisted it up and held it so the tree could be trimmed and leveled before it was secured in place.

Strings of white lights will be added and a special star is on top but it won't be turned on just yet.   

That takes place on December 2nd when a full-scale holiday street party takes place featuring holiday music, dancing, live bands and DJ Darla Bea.

More than 12 events are already set for the downtown area this holiday season.


"We make sure to put on all kinds of community oriented family events that are free and open to the public. So that they can come out and enjoy the holidays," said Robin Elander with the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization.

Already many businesses are putting holiday decorations up and adding seasonal color to their windows.

Some are hoping it will increase sales at a time when they are still coming back from the COVID crisis and coping with the impacts from inflation.


"Absolutely.  I think during the pandemic people did start early with the holidays and it is a trend to spread out the season.   And we decided to do that as well," said Elander.

Santa Barbara's La Arcada Court is already getting  set for its 27th annual Christmas walk.  They will have choirs, free popcorn, Santa Claus and there will be a special snow display.

The Unity Shoppe store on State Street has a large display of items for the holidays on sale. Some are vintage and some are collectables. Many are one-of-a-kind.

"When you do purchase something it goes straight back in to the community to help others and families in need," said Happy Burney with Unity.

For more information about the holiday activities go to :  Santa Barbara Downtown Organization.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.

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