The holiday season is approaching  and one sure sign is the installation of the Christmas tree in Central Park in Sanford. This 40-foot blue spruce was installed Thursday, will be trimmed, and then lit by Santa himself after the Holly Daze parade Dec. 7. COURTESY PHOTO

SANFORD — When Sanford’s Christmas tree is installed in Central Park, residents know the season of holiday cheer is fast approaching.

And while it won’t be lit for a couple of weeks, the blue spruce, donated by Sanford residents Don and Sharon Libby, lends a festive air to the city’s downtown.

Sharon Libby and her brother, Larry Thibodeau, followed the progress of Abbott Hill Tree Service, which has been bringing the Sanford Christmas tree to its destination for many years, from the Libby residence downtown on Thursday morning. It took an hour to ready the tree for transport and an hour to get it to Central Park, Sharon Libby said.

Soon, it will be covered with lights.

It will be lit by Santa Claus, that jolly old elf, himself, on Friday, Dec. 7, following the Holly Daze Parade, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Sharon said she and her family plan to attend the festivities.

Sanford Parks and Recreation Director Alan Grady had put out the word earlier this year that the city was looking for a tree and had five responses. Some were too close to houses, some too close to wires — but the Libby’s tree was deemed just right, said Grady.

The blue spruce was a gift to Sharon’s  husband from her sister 20 years ago, she said; at that time, it was four feet tall. Now, the tree reaches about 40 feet toward the heavens.

Was there any special attention that caused the tree to grow so tall and so well over the past 20 years?

“It just liked the spot” where it was planted, she said. But over time, as the tree grew and grew, it got too big for the yard, so the couple decided to offer it to the city.

They’re glad they  did — and are looking forward to see it lit up for the holiday.

“It was a nice feeling to see that tree in the square,” said Sharon.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected] 

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