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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.
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Pittsfield Lights Permanent, Young Christmas Tree

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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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,   

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Berkshire Communities Impacted By National Cellular Outages

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city made an announcement Thursday morning that with the nationwide cellular service outage, the city's parking meters are currently out of service.
 
Because of this, no parking tickets will be issued for meter violations today. All other parking regulations remain in effect. 
 
The Associated Press reported Thursday morning that widespread outages have impacted AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile and other service providers.
 
Using data from Downdetector, the Associated Press reported that  AT&T had more than 64,000 outages in Houston, Atlanta and Chicago while Cricket Wireless had more than 13,000.
 
Verizon and T-Mobile seem to be less impacted. Verizon had more than 4,000 outages and T-Mobile had more than 1,900 outages. Boost Mobile had about 700 outages.
 
At this time, it is not known what has caused the outages.
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