The Union Democrat
‘Tis the season
City, businesses prepare for big ‘Christmas Town Sonora’ push
City of Sonora workers selected, cut, transported, erected, and decorated a new noble fir Christmas tree this week, bringing winter holidays spirit to St. James Episcopal Church at the top of Washington Street in downtown Sonora before Thanksgiving Day.
“New tree, got it yesterday,” said Raymond Taylor with City of Sonora Public Works said before noon Wednesday at the church. Taylor stood on the ground to hang some ornaments. His coworker, Quinn Vanderwerff, used a bucket truck to get higher on the tree and place ribbons.
The tree is a 25-foot noble fir from up on Big Hill at a former Christmas tree ranch, Venderwerff said.
“They donate it, we pick it, we cut it, we do the decorating,” Taylor said.
The new tree has long needles and a fresh smell. St. James Episcopal Church is also known as the Red Church.
The Sonora Chamber of Commerce is touting a campaign called Christmas Town Sonora this year, and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday is being billed as an inaugural lighting of holiday lights at the Red Church and in downtown Sonora.
Commerce chamber staff are inviting people to the Sonora Fire Museum to sing in the lighting of the St. James Episcopal Church, Winter Wonderland in Coffill Park, Christmas Tree Lane in Courthouse Park, and at shops along Washington Street.
Canon Anna Carmichael from St. James Episcopal Church will give a blessing at Wednesday’s lighting ceremony. Sierra Repertory Theater staff are expected to lead the singing of Christmas carols. The East Sonora theater is currently staging “Elf, the Musical”, based on the popular film starring Will Ferrell, and event organizers are touting an appearance of Buddy the Elf at the ceremony.