SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – The H-E-B Christmas tree from Northern Michigan has arrived at Travis Park.
It was hoisted by a crane from a flatbed truck, carried over Travis Park, placed on the ground horizontally, and then lifted and installed in its base where it will remain for the holidays. John Jones was one of the spectators who watched as the 50-foot Con Color Christmas tree was put in place, which took nearly an hour.
“That crane pulled it up and then brought it back down,” said Jones as he watched a crew member in a bucket truck cut the ties that were wrapped around the tree. “That gentleman got up there and cut the ropes around it to spread the branches. It’s amazing, it really is.”
A woman who works at a downtown hotel got emotional when she saw the tree lying on the back of a pickup truck.
“It’s here,” she told KTSA News as her eyes welled up with tears. “I don’t know why I’m getting so emotional. I guess we need a little Christmas right now.”
Julie Bedingfield with H-E-B says the tree will be decorated with thousands of red, white and blue lights and dozens of handmade ornaments. The grocery store chain spends more than $250,000 every year to transport, decorate and light the tree with a celebration. Decoration themes in the past have included a salute to the military and education. This year, the tree will reflect the resilience of Texans in the face of the pandemic.
“What you’re going to see is a really interesting take on the Texas Flag when the tree is decorated,” said Bedingfield. “We really want to celebrate the resilience of Texans, the pride that we have as Texans, and how we’ve managed to continue onward throughout all of this and reminding each other that we’re not done. We need to continue taking care of each other, so this year’s tree will be a nod to that.”
Because of COVID-19, there will be no gathering for the 36th Annual H-E-B lighting ceremony. Instead, a virtual celebration will air at 7 pm on Friday, Nov. 27 on H-E-B’s YouTube Channel.
“What we want this year is for people to stay safe and have fun, so we’re thinking of it as being home for the holidays and we’re bringing that tree-lighting ceremony to your living room,” said Bedingfield.
To help with your home celebration, H-E-B will give away goodie bags with holiday treats, such as cookies and hot cocoa from 2 -6 pm Friday, Nov. 20 while supplies last in the parking lots of the following stores: Marbach and Loop 410 H-E-B plus!, Zarzamora and S.W. Military Drive H-E-B plus!, Olmos Park H-E-B, and W. W. White Road H-E-B.