Downtown Christmas tree to be repurposed into dining table

The city Christmas tree comes down this week, but locals have the chance to keep a piece of the holiday spirit in their homes.

This year, The Good Wood Guys reached out to the Downtown Great Falls Association with the idea of turning the tree into a custom dining room table, up to a $5,000 value.

The DGFA is selling raffle tickets not through June for $20 each and proceeds go toward future Christmas activities in the downtown.

DGFA took over the Christmas tree in 2016 when the city determined it could no longer carry the expense with taxpayer funds.

The tree is donated every year and is a tree that would otherwise be cut down and discarded, according to the DGFA.

Cutting and transporting of the tree continues to be donated and the city provides crews to string the lights and foots the bill to light the tree, according to DGFA.

“It’s a fantastic partnership,” said Kellie Pierce, director of operations for DGFA.

The tree crew includes Great Falls Park and Recreation Department, The Good Wood Guys, NCSG Crane, AT Klemens, Johnson Madison Lumber, Bench Industries and Guy Tabacco Construction.

Kevin Miller coordinates the tree crew every year.

When the city stopped funding the tree, Miller reached out to friends and the local business community to save the tree.

“I didn’t think it was right that it wasn’t going to be there,” he said.

Miller said he spoke with City Manager Greg Doyon who suggested having a specific organization to take on the task of managing the annual Christmas tree.

That’s when Miller teamed up with Pierce at DGFA.

Pierce said the tree is donated as it was in the past, and the local businesses on the tree crew donate their time and resources as well.

But, Pierce said DGFA has created a Christmas fund to cover costs of the tree and the Christmas Stroll in the event that those donated resources aren’t available in the future.

This year, The Good Wood Guys approached DGFA and were interested in making a table out of the Christmas tree and donating it to support the event.

Whoever wins the raffle will be able to work with The Good Wood Guys to design a custom table, up to a $5,000 value.

The proceeds will go into the Christmas fund to support the tree and Christmas Stroll, events that are organized and funded by DGFA.

Chelle Fried, a DGFA board member, said it’s exciting that local businesses have donated to keep the Christmas tree tradition alive.

“I don’t think the community knows that without those businesses there wouldn’t be a Christmas tree,” she said.

As for the raffle to have a custom table made from that tree, Fried said, “what a story to tell, that your tree was the Great Falls Christmas tree.”

Pierce said those local businesses continue their support of the Christmas tree year after year “because they know how important it is to the community.”

Raffle tickets for the table are available now at the downtown office at 318 Central Ave., Kaufman’s Menswear, Mighty Mo Brew Pub, Ferrin’s Furniture, Belle’s and Lace Bridal, The Good Wood Guys and through DGFA board members.