The spirit of Christmas is alive at the corner of 933/Dixie Highway and Douglas Road, where the tallest decorated Christmas tree in Indiana has been displayed. Located at the South Bend/Notre Dame entrance to the Indiana Toll Road (Exit 77) in St Joseph County, the new tree will serve as a shining beacon and warm welcome to the City of South Bend during the holiday season.
At a tree lighting ceremony on December 1, at 6:30 pm, a light snow appropriately fell as the crowd cheered when the Christmas tree lit up the night sky. A vision of Holladay Properties’ President & CEO John Phair, the tree will be the first sight seen by most visitors coming into South Bend throughout December and early January 2020.
“I wasn’t sure if the plan for this Christmas tree would work, but I am so pleased with the results,” Phair said. “This was a true team effort by the staff at Holladay Properties, Holladay Construction, the Inn at Saint Mary’s, the Hilton Garden Inn and The Gillespie Center, and will be a showcase for the City of South Bend during the Christmas Season.”
The tree was decorated by Polly McCarthy of Poppies Florist and is decked with 10,000 twinkling LED, and over 650 ornaments, including about 20 home-made ornaments added since the decorators finished. The 55-foot-tall pine tree was donated by Teachers Credit Union from a branch site on Cleveland and Grape Road and was cut on November 24 and put on a truck, where it was lifted by two cranes and placed in the foundation the next day.
The tree weighs a little over 7,000 pounds with a foundation that goes down 12 feet deep, including over 100 cubic yards of concrete installed in August courtesy of Holladay Properties and Holladay Construction Group. The steel sleeve put on the bottom of the 30” diameter trunk made it slide perfectly into the 8’ deep steel sleeve.
In honor of the holidays and the Christmas Tree, The Inn at Saint Mary’s is collecting donations for a St. Joseph County mentoring program, 100 Black Men. Donations can be made by calling the Inn at Saint Mary’s at 574-232-4000. In addition, everyone in the area is encouraged to sit on the benches, leave a letter to Santa, have a little cocoa at the Innjoy Café’, located inside the Inn at Saint Mary’s, and make visiting the tallest decorated tree in Indiana a holiday tradition for years of enjoyment to come.