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The largest Christmas tree in Vancouver will be lit during virtual ceremony

Vancouver's breathtaking 76-foot-tall Christmas tree will be set aglow with festive lights during a ceremony that will be broadcast live for all to enjoy.
Vancouver-Christmas-Tree-lighting-2019
The Vancouver Christmas tree lighting event in 2019. Photo by WestEndFoto/courtesy Amacon

Vancouver's breathtaking 76-foot-tall Christmas tree will be set aglow with festive lights during a ceremony that will be broadcast live for all to enjoy.

Year after year the massive tree is put on display in downtown Vancouver - in recent years at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza - and the lighting ceremony is a free family-friendly event complete with music, hot cocoa and plenty of fun.

Sadly, due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings in B.C., this year's Vancouver Christmas tree lighting will go virtual.

On Friday, November 27 at 6:45 p.m., watch as the switch is flipped to light up this majestic symbol of the holiday season.

The tree will be illuminated and set up for passers-by to enjoy until January 4, 2021.

Getting the tree installed and all the lights twinkling merrily is a painstaking process, according to Isreal Gomez, property maintenance manager for Amacon, the Vancouver- based real estate development company that has sponsored the tree for the last 14 years.

Takes a lot to get it lit

It takes one week, up to 30 people, a boom lift, and a crane to get the tree up in its spot on the Gallery plaza. “It’s a big job that involves electricians, engineers and safety staff,” says Gomez. “When we get the six-foot star on the top of the tree, there’s a huge feeling of accomplishment and for me, it really signals the start of the holiday season.”

“We actually start in August with a branch-by-branch inspection and hand tufting,” explains Gomez. “From there we move on to restringing branches where necessary and an inspection of each light. It’s just like your tree at home but on a huge scale,” he adds.

And this year, homes around the globe and here in Metro Vancouver are likely to be getting their own trees, lights, and decorations up early and more elaborately, as many try to create more joy in the difficult times of the pandemic. 

In another first for 2020, Amacon is working with CTV Vancouver, which will broadcast the tree-lighting event "as a gift to the city at a time when large in-person celebration events are not allowed due to the pandemic," explains Amacon.