Staff Report | Lloyd Green Jr.
On Christmas Eve, what seemed to be a scene from “The Grinch who Stole Christmas”, played at the City of Williams Town Square. The Town Christmas Tree went dark as several dozen light bulbs were removed from the tree. The act was disheartening to the community; however like the citizens of ‘Whoville’ the tree was quickly repaired – hoping this was just a prank.
This was the last of three attempts to vandalize the tree. Several days earlier the tree was vandalized when over seventy light bulbs were removed from the tree, fuses were burnt, and the breaker box was tripped.
“It takes a lot of effort to take 70 Christmas bulbs from the tree,” said Pat Ash, “this was no prank, this was an effort to ruin Christmas for our community.”
Ash, flooded Facebook of the news and pleaded for the assistance of the Community.
“It is discouraging to say the least,” said Ash, “yet, my faith was restored when several individuals donated as many Christmas light fuses, and C9 bulbs as they could.”
Ash learned how sparse the supply of C9 bulbs are these days with the big push for LED Lights. “I bought every C9 bulb that was available in the county!” commented Ash.
“I don’t understand what these individuals are getting out of it [vandalizing the town tree]” said Ash, “They are just Christmas Grinch’s with no respect for the property of others.”
Although there are no leads to suspects, it is unclear if the events are linked.
“They may have vandalized our tree but they have not discouraged us from continuing a tradition of 87 years!”
The first community Christmas tree began in 1924, at the Williams High School Gymnasium, with hopes that in the future the same arrangements will be made for a community tree. It has since then become an annual journey of traveling deep into the foothills locating the perfect tree and hauling it to town.
“The community is not giving up,” commented Ash.
The Citizens for a Better Williams is planning a different approach to lighting the tree next year to deter vandals.
“We have had several individuals approach us about contributing towards the purchase of a surveillance camera and are seriously considering one.” said Ash, “it is however, disheartening when we have to resort to this level of protection for our town Christmas tree.”
The Citizens for a Better Williams asks that if anyone has any information regarding this incident to please call the Williams Police Department, (530) 473-2661.