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O Christmas Tree

Each year we mark the holiday season with the lighting of an official tree.  In recent years, we have lit the tree the first week of December. This year, we are getting a head start on the season and lighting the tree as soon as the turkey leftovers have been put away. The tree lighting ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Greene Square. This will be the first day that the holiday decorations throughout downtown are turned on, so come and enjoy!

Putting up and decorating a tree that is more than 25 feet tall is quite the endeavor. On Monday, November 20, our crews will start early and cut the tree down from its home on the northwest side of Cedar Rapids. With the help of our friends at Coonrod, we will transport the tree to Greene Square and then spend several hours placing and decorating it in a spot across from the library. If you have some time, come watch as the tree flies into place.


We start the stringing process with the tree lying down and then raise it to its final place. This year we will wrap the tree with 1,200 feet of lights and more than 7,000 LED bulbs. Groups of our staff are placed on all sides of the tree and will pull ropes until the tree is determined to be as straight as the one in your living room.

This year’s tree is being donated by Janet Walker. The Blue Spruce is about 20 years old and more than 25 feet tall. It has grown in her yard and is too large for the space. We appreciate the donation and look forward to having her participate in the tree lighting ceremony.

November 25th is #ShopSmall day. In cooperation with the Metro Economic Alliance, we are encouraging people to spend some of their holiday shopping dollars at local businesses. Stroll through downtown and shop and dine local. Then, come to Greene Square for some caroling and the tree lighting. Create a new holiday family tradition and take a picture each year in front of the official Cedar Rapids Christmas tree. 

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