Christmas tree arrives in Harrison — and it's huge
Part of Harrison will look more like Rockefeller Center in New York City this holiday season thanks to a donated 40-foot Christmas tree.
Generations House of Worship in Brackenridge cut down the giant tree on its property to install a new electric pole, so the church donated it to Harrison to be used by its recreation board.
It will be on display during the township's Christmas parade and festival.
“I'm pumped we could be a part of doing something for the community,” the Rev. Nick Chybrzynski said.
A crew from Harrison-based BeaverJack Tree Service donated services to cut down and move the tree from the Generations House of Worship to the front of St. Joseph High School and Our Lady of Most Blessed Sacrament School.
BJ Shaltenbrand, owner of the tree service, said he wanted to do something to give back to the community.
This is the second year he's helped cut down and move the township's Christmas tree.
“It's a great time of year,” he said. “It's a time of giving and that's what we're trying to do right here.”
Harrison Commissioner Chuck Dizard said officials started the parade and festival to get more people involved in the community. The event is sponsored by Allegheny Health Network, which donated $2,000 to the cause.
“It's bringing life back to the township,” Dizard said.
Recreation board Chairman Josh Nulph said they expect between 3,000 and 5,000 people to attend the parade and festival. He said it's a way to bring together everyone — not only Harrison, but other nearby communities.
“An event like this, it brings a lot of joy to my heart,” Nulph said. “A tree of this magnitude sort of makes a statement.”
He said the recreation board will make a donation to BeaverJack Tree Service for its time and effort.
“We're very thankful to BJ and his team,” Nulph said.
The township uses commercial-grade lights to decorate the tree. It took 2,000 lights to cover last year's tree, which was around 30 feet tall.
“We're going to need more lights,” Dizard said.
Dizard said Harrison's tree rivals anything in a big city.
“It's been a massive undertaking,” he said.