ENID, Okla. (KFOR) – Christmas is coming early this year, and in a big way.
“Super excited,” says One Tree Project Coordinator Nicole Winfield. “I cannot wait to see this beauty lit.”
She’s walked this sidewalk off 5th and Grand at least once a day for the past month watching as crews from California first put up, then filled out, the world’s tallest, fresh cut, Christmas tree.
“The final result,” she says, “what we call ‘The One – Enid’s Christmas Experience’ will be the 140-foot tree lit, surrounded by 12 perimeter trees, each about 10 feet tall, fully decorated.”
Wind is always an issue in Western Oklahoma.
Work on the very top was delayed on occasion.
“Insanely, crazy winds,” confirms crewman James Barkely.
He insists he and his half-dozen fellow workers still had plenty to do down below unpacking strands that included 20,000 lights, and opening all the boxes containing more than 10,000 oversize decorations.
He points out, “So these are medium size ornaments. What we’re going to do is wrap a heavy wire around the branch.”
The top light strands are connected to extension cords that reach 150 feet to the plug-in box down below.
The idea for all this grew wildly from a notion Jiffy Trip President, and native son, Kyle Williams had for a community Christmas celebration.
“He does big things here in Enid,” says Winfield.
Last year’s tallest tree was 120 feet.
Planning committees worked toward making this one taller still, and they did it.
Nicole says, “It’s been really cool to watch the transformation.”
The day after Thanksgiving, when some 20,000 expected guests gather round, everything will be ready up above and down below.
“I don’t know if there’s anything else in Oklahoma like this,” she insists.
Back in 1950, a group did manage to put up a tree that was 220 feet tall.
That’s the all-time record.
This one is plenty tall enough for a celebration that had to wait for a pandemic and a community especially anxious to throw a big party people will be able to spot for miles around.
On Friday, November 26th at 7:30 p.m., organizers will throw a switch and the One Tree will light up for the first time.
The tree will stay up for the next 42 days.
For more information on events surrounding the celebration go to their Facebook page.