Wrangell’s 2020 town tree, awaiting decorating Wednesday afternoon.
(Sage Smiley / KSTK)

Wrangell’s tree-lighting ceremony is back on, this time with a 30-foot conifer in its traditional place of honor between the Elks Lodge and downtown gas station. 

Listen to the story here.

The spruce replaced a stand-in tree of a few sticks, safety cones, and a large red ornament ball. The stand-in was well-loved, while it lasted.

Wrangell Light & Power superintendent Rod Rhoades says his crew enjoy the annual tradition of picking out the town’s tree and there was a window of opportunity on Wednesday morning: “I told them really this was our only opportunity before we get started on the meter route and so I think they really just redoubled their efforts to try to get it done.”

The crew jumped at the task, felling a tree and carting it through town.

Safety cones, previously ornaments on Wrangell’s stand-in tree, now ring the official 2020 tree.
(Sage Smiley / KSTK)

Video taken by Wrangellite Danny St. John shows Wrangell’s 2020 town Christmas tree being uprighted in its tree stand. 

The tree-lighting ceremony had been cancelled last week after the electric crew spent the week battling outages and downed trees during Southeast Alaska’s spat of stormy weather. 

The orange safety cones that had decorated what has been dubbed “Wrangell’s Grinch Tree” now ring the official Wrangell 2020 tree. 

The Wrangell Chamber of Commerce says the tree lighting will take place at 6 p.m. Friday. It’ll be streamed live on the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page, for those who prefer to watch the festivities from a distance.

Get in touch with KSTK at news@kstk.org or (907) 874-2345.

In loving memory of Wrangell’s Grinch Tree, 2020-2020.
(Photo courtesy of Anonymous)