TULARE, California (KSEE/KGPE) – For many people, Christmas is their favorite holiday. They look forward to the decorations, music, even their city’s Christmas tree. But this year, Tulare’s tree has generated some mixed emotions from residents.
Tulare had its holiday tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 5, and since then, it’s been tweet after tweet and Facebook post after Facebook post with some saying “who let this happen?”
“It seems it could have been done with a little bit more care to make it look nice for the holidays,” Tulare resident Ellen Simonich said.
The Tulare Downtown Association decorates the tree. This time, they decided to try something different – net lights. The tree stands in the middle of downtown. It’s covered in these lights, but a quarter of the tree is missing them.
“It’s not the same, it’s just a little bit off, not as much Christmas spirit,” Simonich said.
However, other residents say people should give credit to whoever took on the role of decorating the tree.
“I do think whoever took the responsibility of doing it took on a huge responsibility of doing it but could probably use some more help from the community,” Tulare business owner Christina Garcia said.
The Tulare Downtown Association said they spent $1,200 on the net lights but that no taxpayer money was used.
John Harman with the Tulare Downtown Association said the money was raised by “individuals interested in decorating the tree.”
It’s been critiqued all over social media, but others have also come to its defense.
“It’s easy to put your two sense in behind a computer screen or from word of mouth by rumors, but it’s another thing to step up and be involved and do something,” Simonich said.
And some residents and business owners alike said they’re tired of hearing the negativity surrounding the tree online.
“I think we need to all get together and be positive in our community instead of putting the tree down because there’s a lot of really great things about downtown now, so I think we should focus on that more and just get involved more of people want to see change,” Tulare resident Amy Oliveira said.