It cost just under £4,000 – half the cost paid by a donation – but it may be the bargain of the season as March Town Council switches on the lights on its now famous ‘wonky’ Christmas tree . Startled by the reaction (BBC and Sky News have covered the story), this year’s Christmas tree, brought as usual from the Elveden Estates in Suffolk, is, quite simply, not straight!
Too late to do much about it, the Christmas subcommittee of the town council are hoping the publicity will draw even bigger crowds to the town over the festive season.
The March Christmas Lights switch on event tonight (Friday the 24th ) with entertainment in the Market Square at 6pm, with the light switch on at 7pm.
This year will be challenging for those attending as the town is presently undergoing a £9m ‘facelift’ and Broad Street is the focus of much of the regeneration work.
But that hasn’t stopped the organisers using their imagination to promote the tree.
And the ‘wonky’ tree, has attracted growing support from the town itself.
Many have posted their support to social media, typical reaction is “isn’t the tree brilliant. It’s got everyone talking. So, its a little wonky”.
As the poster added: “Trees grow wonky, but it is absolutely full of branches. Put up by volunteers who raise the money for the lights each year through donations and put it all up voluntarily.
“So please let’s have a bit of Christmas cheer. Cheers to a tree we actually have when a lot of towns don’t.
“Cheers to the volunteers and people that put it up and the lights.. And cheers for March for being a talking point. Definitely not an embarrassment.”
One post asks: “I would love to see the tree but can’t make it to March this year. Please, please can you get another wonky tree next year when I will be able to visit?”
On a technical note, the minutes of the town council Christmas committee reveals that the price of the tree has been frozen from 2022 costs, £3,636.
And the company undertaking much of the regeneration work, Octavius, has chipped in £2,000 towards the cost.
But their budget didn’t extend to straightening a tree that, quite frankly, most seem happy for it to stay as it is.
And as town clerk Sarah Lemmon said: “Yes, it is a little bit wonky. But it is a beautiful tree and, let’s face it, Pisa’s famous leaning tower is celebrated and adored the world-over.”