Our world famous tree will not be lit again this year, but here is a little history to bring back memories. In 1928 “Hi Buddy” Wade, the town commissioner held a contest to find the best Christmas tree to light in Wilmington. Two local school children choose the tree at the Hilton Park. A Large Oak. Each was rewarded with a $5 gold piece. 450 lights were used to decorate the tree. The Worlds Largest Christmas tree lighting ceremony which has been held every year since 1928 (except the one year during World War II) until 2010. The age and health of the tree has been a concern in prior years. The City of Wilmington is doing renovations at the Sweeney plant next to the tree, and these are safety concerns as well. To upgrade and accommodate changes to make the area around the tree safe is not in the City budget.
So, we will have to view the tree from afar, and visit the new tree and Santa’s house on the downtown Wilmington NC riverfront. Until then, we can still say Wilmington NC had the “Worlds Largest Christmas tree” .
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