The lights were strung on the giant community tree with the help of Millican Crane Services.                                Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

The lights were strung on the giant community tree with the help of Millican Crane Services. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

600 lights for the Tracyton Community Tree

Santa Claus coming to town 6 p.m. Dec. 3

BREMERTON — ’Tis the season for a tree lighting, and Tracyton isn’t about to disappoint.

On Nov. 27, volunteers gathered to string up 600 lights on the Tracyton Community Tree in preparation for Dec. 3’s lighting ceremony and Santa Claus visit.

And getting to that point was not a simple journey, either.

The Tracyton Tree Lighting dates back to the 1940s, when it was held at a different tree. But sometime in the early 1980s, according to Bonnie Chrey, the old tree died, and the community needed to find a replacement. They found it in a massive tree in front of the Tracyton United Methodist Church, close enough to the building to have access to its electricity.

“It’s really a community tree, not a church tree,” said Joan Simmons.

A couple years ago, the old lights — dating back to when the Tracyton Community Tree event started — needed replacing. So the Tracyton community held a fundraiser. Many people pitched in; they received a grant from the Suquamish Tribe, and lots of donations.

“It means a lot to the community,” Simmons said. “We got letters and donations from people who used to live here, who remembered the tree an dwanted to donate and be part of it.”

And more recently, thanks to extensive damage to the lights, they all needed to be taken down and repaired.

“We worked on it for probably three-and-a-half weeks,” said Bob Carter, who was responsible for the repairs. “We went through like 2,000 tie wraps.”

And on Monday, Nov. 27, with the help of Millican Crane Service, the gigantic tree in front of the Tracyton United Methodist Church, volunteer re-strung those 600 holiday lights on the tree.

“I’ve lived in Tracyton just about my whole life,” Carter said. “It’s been a neat thing for the community to have a lit tree.”

Chrey said the Dec. 3 event is “quite a festival.”

“At 6 o’clock (p.m.) the lights go on, and that’s Santa’s cue to come down here on the fire engine,” Chrey said, “and he gives the kids candy canes, and there’s singing and cookies … and hot cider and different things for everyone.”

Chrey said the festival has, in previous years, attracted about 200 people, though she hopes this year will bring even more out.

“It’s a fun event, a community get together,” Chrey said.

The community tree lighting will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Tracyton United Methodist Church, 5153 Naomi Ave., Bremerton. For more information, visit the Tracyton Community Tree Facebook page, goo.gl/j9v18j.

Michelle Beahm is the online editor for the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublishing.com.

Bob Carter repaired the 600 lights that decorate the Tracyton Community Tree.                                Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

Bob Carter repaired the 600 lights that decorate the Tracyton Community Tree. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

600 lights are prepared to be strung on the Tracyton Community Tree Nov. 27.                                Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

600 lights are prepared to be strung on the Tracyton Community Tree Nov. 27. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

Kurt Tufford, left, and Bob Carter carry string lights across the street to ensure the community tree is lit up on all sides.                                Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

Kurt Tufford, left, and Bob Carter carry string lights across the street to ensure the community tree is lit up on all sides. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

600 lights are prepared to be strung on the Tracyton Community Tree Nov. 27.                                Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

600 lights are prepared to be strung on the Tracyton Community Tree Nov. 27. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

The lights were strung on the giant community tree with the help of Millican Crane Services.                                Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

The lights were strung on the giant community tree with the help of Millican Crane Services. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

Bob Carter repaired the 600 lights that decorate the Tracyton Community Tree.                                Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

Bob Carter repaired the 600 lights that decorate the Tracyton Community Tree. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

Kurt Tufford, left, and Bob Carter check the lightbulbs before they’re strung on the Tracyton Community Christmas Tree.                                Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

Kurt Tufford, left, and Bob Carter check the lightbulbs before they’re strung on the Tracyton Community Christmas Tree. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

More in Life

Best of Kitsap County 2020

And don’t forget to check out the winners for Best of Kitsap… Continue reading

.
Port Orchard Farmers Market kicks off this Saturday

Weekly event runs through Oct. 16

.
Ground broken on expansion of Manchester Library

$300,000 project to be completed by end of 2021

.
Mediascape: YouTube channels are the next best thing to traveling the globe

Slice-of-life home-grown series offer a refreshing take on life elsewhere

.
Cash & Dash event provides $130,000 for area nonprofits

Kitsap service agencies, programs receive welcome donations from Kitsap Credit Union event

.
Sweet memories greet visitors to Port Orchard’s The Candy Shoppe

Nostalgic candies and seasonal fudge smells are part of store’s alluring treats

.
Pandemic spurs a literary family affair

Banner Forest author, son and daughter team up to produce three fanciful children’s books

x
Rent or Mortgage for a Year Sweepstakes

Enter for your chance to win $15,000!

x
Best of South Kitsap 2020

The winners of the Best of South Kitsap 2020 contest have been… Continue reading

.
Bobbie Stewart: An unassuming trailblazer

Determination, hard work were keys to her pioneering work as an LPGA Master instructor

x
COMING SOON: Rent or Mortgage for a Year Sweepstakes

Enter for your chance to win $15,000 starting Nov. 16!

x
Best of North Kitsap 2020

The winners of the Best of North Kitsap 2020 contest have been… Continue reading