(WXYZ) — One of the main symbols of the start of the Detroit holiday season is now up in Campus Martius, the annual Christmas tree.
Jeremy Lovelady & Alex Lundgren stepped out of their nearby work Thursday to take in the scene as the Norway Spruce was lifted by crane and lowered into its place atop the central fountain in the plaza.
“We heard they were doing the tree so we tried to run down in time to make it,” said Lovelady.
“We just made it. Perfect timing” added Lundgren.
The tree made a journey from over 200 miles away to the place it will sit through the holiday season.
“It’s huge. And it’s so cool it’s from Cadillac too," said Lovelady.
“It’s beautiful. It is really really big. It’s crazy to see them standing at the bottom there, cause they’re so little compared to the tree,” remarked Lundgren
David Cowan is the chief public spaces officer with the Downtown Detroit Partnership.
“This tree is incredible. I mean it’s 65 feet tall. It has 20,000 lights that are going to be hoisted on it. It’s got a seven-and-a-half-foot star that’s going to eventually be placed,” explained Cowan.
He said most people never see the effort that goes on behind the scenes.
“It gets craned onto the fountain. A lot of work and preparation goes into it and trees this size are not easy to find and scout,” said Cowan.
If there ever was a spirit of Christmas in Detroit, it’s a woman named Amelia C. Sharpe. She’s known as the “Christmas Tree Lady.”
“When I see that tree go across slowly. And then they bring it down and that bad boy lands, oh my god. It’s like, ‘Yes! The tree has landed!’” said Sharpe excitedly looking at the towering spruce.
She reacted to a question about what the Christmas season means to her.
“When I’m asked that question, I can’t hardly breathe because I just love it so much,” said Sharpe.
Sharpe wears a Christmas tree-shaped hat and dress for public events throughout the holiday season. She said she has been donning her festive attire for nearly 20 years.
“It’s so wonderful to see the joy on peoples’ faces, especially the kids,” laughed Sharpe. “Oh, Jesus.”
Like a kid on Christmas, she’s eagerly awaiting the main event.
“Then of course the big night is the lighting. Oh, God!” said Sharpe.
The Detroit Christmas Tree Lighting is on Friday, November 18th. You can watch it on our Light up the Season special from 7pm to 8pm.