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City Christmas tree arrives

Employees from Mike Pusateri Excavating use a trackhoe with its arm extended to walk the city’s 2020 Christmas tree down Sixth Street to the Diamond, where they attempted to maneuver it in place and upright it. (Photos by Stephanie Ujhelyi)

EAST LIVERPOOL — It is not every day that one witnesses a freshly cut tree being walked through downtown East Liverpool.

For most of Monday morning, city police, street, water and sewer employees as well as city Safety-Service Director David Dawson looked on as employees from Mike Pusateri Excavating literally walked the soon-to-be city Christmas tree down from the corner of West Seventh and Jefferson down to the Diamond where it was would welcome in the holiday season.

Dawson said that the tree was courtesy of Jim and Sue Wellington, whom he contacted after the city’s original tree ended up falling through.

Kathy Hyatt Smith of the East Liverpool Community Partnership for Revitalization had told Dawson about their tree, which she thought would be perfect for the occasion. After taking a look at it himself, he contacted them and they graciously offered it to the city.

The tree came down Monday morning with the help of the Pusateri crew and machinery, and it was transported right down Sixth Street rigged to a trackhoe with crew members, who held cables attached to the tree as it proceeded through town to the Diamond, where it was dropped into the spot upright by the existing trees.

As Dawson explained, “It took us about an hour to cut it down and we hooked and rigged it up to a trackhoe, because you can better control where you were (placing) it.”

The public seemed genuinely excited to witness the spectacle, which was similar to the sight in New York City when the Macy’s balloon would be walked down the street during the Thanksgiving parade.

“It was definitely a new one for hauling a Christmas tree,” Dawson said, after observing all the pedestrian passers-by pulling out there cellular phones to grab quick videos or snapshots.

Dawson said that it had concluded a particularly difficult search for the right tree. The city and ELCPR had been looking for a tree for a while, and officials originally thought they found the right tree on St. Clair Avenue.

The Headley Tree Service had gone as far as to cut the tree down, which was donated by Dennis and Sue Giambroni; however, the tree encountered a problem that made it unusable, so the hunt resumed.

Officials took trips out to three local tree farms, who offered to donate trees. While municipalities tend to get a lot of people volunteering trees, Dawson explained that the location often makes the most desirable tree hard to access, and that was the issue this year.

Then the perfect tree was found virtually in city hall’s backyard.

“It really worked out well,” Dawson explained, adding that considering how the year 2020 has gone with the pandemic that it gives the community some optimism.

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