image description
Pittsfield's new tree is small now but it's expected to grow at a rate of 10 inches a year and up to 50 feet tall.
image description
image description
image description

Pittsfield Lights Permanent, Young Christmas Tree

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

Linda Tyer welcomes the crowd to her last tree lighting as mayor. She leaves office in January. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's permanent Christmas tree was lit for the holidays for the first time on Friday. Though the young tree is currently 9 feet tall, it is expected grow up to 50 feet in time.

"Look at our petite sweet little Christmas tree. I know it's a surprise to all of you to see that we have planted a tree in Park Square instead of our past tradition of having a big tree donated," Mayor Linda Tyer said.

"We really felt strongly that this was the time for us to preserve our natural forests by not cutting down trees and planting a tree here in Park Square that will grow and grow and grow, and I encourage moms and dads and grandparents and caregivers to get a photo with your kids next to this tree every year so you can watch them and the tree grow."

The rain didn't stop the tree-lighting ceremony on Friday. Families gathered with umbrellas around the conifer that was planted in October as they waited for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive.

"Here comes Santa Claus," Recreation and Special Events Coordinator Maddy Brown said as the Pittsfield High School chorus sang "Winter Wonderland."


The jolly duo pulled up on firetrucks to a long line of children waiting to recite their Christmas lists.

The tree was lit before the guests arrived, as the city felt due to its small stature it would be more festive to have it that way. Additionally, the shrubs around the fountain were illuminated.

Last year, the tree lighting ceremony returned in person after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. Over the years, it has become harder for the city to locate a tree and transport it for installation.

This type of fir has a silver blue color, is more desirable under urban conditions, and has the least pest problems of many evergreens, Park, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath said. It will grow about 10 inches per year and will typically reach 30-50 feet tall and 15-25 feet wide when mature.

Tyer said this is one of her favorite days of the year along with the Fourth of July parade.

As part of the Downtown Pittsfield Festive Frolic, Otto's Kitchen & Comfort hosted a free Hot Chocolate Bar with all the fixings and pictures with the Grinch and there were a variety of holiday events spanned across the weekend.


Tags: Christmas tree,   tree lighting,   

If you would like to contribute information on this article, contact us at info@iberkshires.com.

West Side Residents Build Ideal Neighborhood At Zoning Session

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Program manager James McGrath opens the session at Conte Community School.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents mapped out a West Side they would like to see during an input session this week, utilizing multi-use properties to create robust density.

Held at Conte Community School on Monday, this was the second meeting of a project to examine zoning in the neighborhood. The Department of Community Development, in partnership with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, has been working with an urban planning and design consulting team on the effort that will conclude on June 30.

"This is a really important project for your neighborhood," Park, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath said.

Multifamily houses with spaces to accommodate a small business were popular. A community center, church, year-round farmer's market, and even a place to draw in commerce appeared as elements on the tabletop street.

An emphasis was also placed on the amount of immigrants coming to the area in need of housing.

Max Douhoure, community outreach coordinator for Habitat, explained that he grew up in Africa where people liked to live together, which his build reflected.

"I wanted to improve their conditions," he said. "That’s what I did."

During the first meeting in November, the team heard desires for businesses and commercial uses — including a need for small, family-owned business support. The session provided an overview of what zoning is, what zoning can and can't do, how zoning can improve the community, and the impact on residents.

"Today's exercise is really about creating spaces in buildings and on properties to do a combination of residential [uses] that meet the needs and commercial uses that meet the needs of the neighborhood,"  Emily Keys Innes, principal of Innes Associates explained.

View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories