Parade of Trees interest grows as Christmas time approaches

By Bruce Hope
Posted 10/7/20

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – October is just beginning, but we are getting closer to that magical “most wonderful time of the year.”

Christmas and the new year are still more than 60 days away, but …

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Parade of Trees interest grows as Christmas time approaches

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – October is just beginning, but we are getting closer to that magical “most wonderful time of the year.”

Christmas and the new year are still more than 60 days away, but the feeling is creeping in, and plans are being made for the holidays. One of those is for the annual Green Cove Springs Parade of Trees.

The parade offers residents their own way to show their Christmas spirit and share it with neighbors publicly. Also, the Parade of Trees is a special way to commemorate loved ones, promote their businesses, or just enjoy the season. Anyone can sponsor a tree, which will then be “theirs” for the season. They can decorate it any way they like.

Jim Raines and his wife Ann are longtime Clay County residents. They lived in Orange Park for 20 years before moving to Green Cove Springs, where they have lived for the last 19 years.

“I’ve always loved Christmas and decorating,” said Ann. “So, we were very interested when we saw the advertisement.” According to Raines, the couple has taken part in the event every year that the city has been doing it.

William Warren also takes part annually. He has been doing it for the past six years with his family. He lives in Orange Park, but most of his family is in Green Cove Springs.

“My grandmother has been doing the Parade of Trees for my grandfather, who passed away,” Warren said. “Then my father passed away in 2016, and so we decided to go with Parade of Trees just as a nice memory for everybody to visits and kind of remember him around the holidays.”

Typically, to kick off the season for the event, which runs from December 5–31, including a public tree lighting. However, this year, to encourage and maintain safe and healthy practices, the tree lighting won’t be held. Also, signs will be placed near the trees encouraging onlookers and tree sponsors to keep a six-foot social distance from others while visiting the parade.

The Raines’ choose different themes each year. Some of the different ones have been a snowman, a grinch, an elf, a butterfly, a little drummer boy, and last year they the theme was a cardinal (the red bird) tree. They won’t divulge this year’s theme, on which they’ve already decided. They prefer to surprise everyone after they’ve decorated.

“We love it when people come out and see it, and we see, sometimes on Facebook, we’ll see families in front of our tree taking pictures, and each year this happens,” said Ann.

“I really think it’s just a nice way for families to remember their loved ones around the holidays and to celebrate their lives,” said Warren. “Kind of bring the families together to work on the trees.”

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