Oh, Christmas tree at home in Niles

Published 8:16 am Friday, November 19, 2004

Niles Daily Star
NILES - The holiday season will seem a little brighter in downtown Niles with the addition of an official city holiday tree on the plot of land located at the intersection of Fifth and Main streets.
The 30-foot tall Norway Spruce, donated by Hunziker's Inc., was installed between 10 and 11 a.m. Thursday morning by workers from National Tree Movers Co. of Niles.
The tree is the first official holiday tree the city has ever had, said Juan Ganum, the city's development director.
Ganum said the tree will now be the focal point of the propoerty, which Ganum hopes can be developed into a town square in the future.
While the property which the tree sits on is currently for sale, Ganum thinks the development of the property should be left to the citizens of Niles.
Mayor Michael McCauslin was impressed with the tree after it was planted.
Being downtown, the tree falls under the jurisdiction of the Niles Downtown Development Authority, which will decorate the tree for the upcoming holiday season.
The Niles DDA - Main Street Promotions Comittee will begin decorating downtown with lights, garland, and wreaths beginning Nov. 28 in preparation for the Dec. 4 "Holiday Homecoming" event.
Toni Smith, a local artist and member of the promotions comittee, will be in charge of the decorations for downtown. Smith has previous experience in decorating and lighting trees, doing so in the past at the Edward Lowe Foundation grounds in Cassopolis, Croteau said.
In addition to being decorated with lights, the new tree will be surrounded by 50 smaller trees created by students in Tom Hurst's shop class at Ring Lardner Middle School.
The manufactured wooden trees are made by student in Tom Hurst's shop classes at the school.
Over the years the trees have come to be known as "Whoville" trees, named because they look like the trees in the town from Dr. Suess' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
Croteau said some of the trees will honor DDA - Main Street partners which sponsored downtown holiday activities and made donations toward holiday decorations.
Other trees can be sponsored by individuals or groups for a $100 donation.
The money collected from the sponsorship of the trees will be used for decorations and various other downtown activities planned for the holiday season.