By Mark Baratelli
29 years ago local TV news anchor Bob Opsahl donated a living 10 year old Christmas tree to the City of Winter Park to be the city's official Christmas tree. It got planted in Central Park downtown and received decorations and an official lighting each year since.
Several local news outlets reported the tree is will remain in the park but, due to the weakness of branches from old age and damage from Hurricane Irma, it won't be lit or decorated anymore nor be the City's official Christmas tree.
Starting this year, the City will be lighting up an "animated, digital tree with festive holiday music and dancing lights." City of Winter Park Chamber of Commerce's Katherine Keller said the new tree will offer "a new glow for all to enjoy during the holiday nights."
On Saturday, October 21 the City is hosting what it's callinga "proper goodbye to our beloved holiday tree" in Central Park at the site of the tree. Opsahl, who has been part of the lighting ceremony since 1988, will speak. Light refreshments will be served.
Photos in this collage credit to Orlando Local Guide
Video credit Orlando Local Guide