EXETER – Shortly after the official kick-off to Exeter’s annual Christmas Open House, a local group continued another Exeter tradition. On Dec. 1, the Exeter Lions Club gathered at the corner of Pine and C streets to light the Exeter Community Christmas Tree.
Lions Club member Mickey Hirni said the 30-foot tree was again donated by J.G. Boswell’s Yokohl Cattle Co. The tradition began several years ago, when Hirni and Cattle Co. Manager Marty Williamson began heading up the 5,000-foot elevation of Blue Ridge to select a worthy fir tree.
Hirni said Yokohl Cattle Co. sent up a large backhoe and a 24-inch flatbed truck to the tree site, which is about a 1 and a half hour trip up a windy dirt road from the company’s headquarters on Yokohl Valley Drive. He said it took about an hour and a half to cut and load the tree and another hour and a half to make the trip down to the Exeter.
Fought’s Crane Service then donated its services to unload the tree and place it in the proper position within the traffic circle at the three-way intersection of Rocky Hill Drive and Pine and C streets.
The Exeter Lions Club purchased the decorations and lights and decorates the tree with the aid of the City of Exeter’s man lift. The city also helps with the tree placement.
“It takes a lot of effort by lots of people, but one look at the tree day or night and we see that the effort is well worth while,” said Hirni, the chairman of the Christmas Tree Committee. “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Exeter Lions Club.”