City of Williston continues a community holiday tradition

PR_Marilyn McGinley and Community Christmas TreeWILLISTON, N.D. – Reintroduced in 2014, the Community Christmas Tree is a holiday tradition enjoyed by all ages, from the moving process to the accompanied lighting ceremony.

This year’s Community Christmas Tree comes from 1624 4th Avenue East, donated by Marilyn McGinley.

A Colorado Blue Spruce estimated to be over 70-feet tall and between 18,000 and 21,000 pounds, the tree will be moved on Monday, November 22 to its holder on the corner of 26th Street East and 2nd Avenue West.

This project is made possible by Dacotah West Crane Service, 11 Bravo Property Services, LLC., and City of Williston Public Works. Drone footage will also be captured by Alliance Consulting.

McGinley first considered removing the tree three to four years ago due to its size and proximity to her home, but it was this fall when she decided it was time.

“I called Bruce Johnson and told him I would be happy to donate one of my trees to the city,” explained McGinley. “He came and looked at it and I was delighted when I got a call from him a few weeks ago saying they would take it.”

McGinley and her family moved into the 4th Avenue East home in 1971. At the time, the spruce trees located in the front yard were small enough that her two sons, in the 3rd and 7th grades, could hurdle them.

“It’s kind of emotional when you think about it,” admitted McGinley. “I love these trees and I’ll feel bad the day this one goes, but I’m glad it will be used this way. I’m also looking forward to having open space and more of a lawn.”

“The tree will also be on my Christmas card this year!” added McGinley

With the tree in place, the community is invited to the 7th Annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, November 30 at 6:00 p.m.

There will be a bonfire, refreshments sponsored by Alliance Consulting, holiday music, a short ceremony, and a fireworks show sponsored by TNT Fireworks.

In addition, the community is invited to participate in the second Community Christmas Tree Ornament Contest!

Individuals are encouraged to get creative and make their best ornament to hang on the tree for a chance to win a prize pack.

The contest is open to all ages with the following age groups:

  • Under 6
  • 7-10
  • 11-14
  • 15+

Beginning Monday, November 29, individuals can place their homemade ornaments on the tree. Contest participants have until Friday, December 10 to place their ornaments.

To successfully enter the contest, individuals must:

  • Take a picture of their ornament on the Community Christmas Tree OR a picture of them placing their ornament on the Community Christmas Tree
  • Submit pictures via Facebook Messenger to the City of Williston (@cityofwilliston) OR the Williston Community Library (@willistoncommunitylibrary) OR email to communications@ci.williston.nd.us
  • Include their name and age AND a name for the ornament
  • Place their ornament by Friday, December 10

Two winners from each age group will be selected on Monday, December 13. All submissions will be showcased on the City of Williston Facebook and Instagram pages.

Individuals are reminded that ornaments will be outside, but a future timeframe will be provided for those who would like to retrieve their ornaments, if desired. The Community Christmas Tree will stay up until early January 2022.

Individuals are also invited to place ornaments on the tree without participating in the ornament contest.

For more information on this story, please contact Caitlin Pallai, Communications Strategist, at 701.713.3800 or caitlinp@ci.williston.nd.us.