Snapped tree trunk delays start of holiday season in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI -- The holiday season will be coming to downtown Cincinnati later than usual this year.

The Macy's Holiday Tree was scheduled to arrive to Fountain Square on Saturday but its trunk snapped as it was being loaded on a flatbed truck, according to officials from the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), the organization behind the tree's installation.

Brittney Carden with 3CDC said the 60-foot tall tree was coming from Norton, Ohio on Friday when a weak spot in its upper trunk cracked.

The tree was expected to arrive in the Queen City at 6 a.m. so crews could begin the installation process in the southwest corner of the Square. After several hours of installing the tree, decorations would have been added Saturday afternoon.

Installation of the tree was to coincide with the complete transformation of Fountain Square into a winter wonderland, which includes the U.S. Bank Ice Rink, which is currently under construction.

The rink will be in place for 13 weeks and serve as one of the focal points of the push to get people to come downtown to take part in one several winter events at the Square.

"Well, don't they plan that for many weeks and months beforehand? How are they going to find another one to fill the space their look for?" asked Jenny Maratea of Liberty Township.

Carden said people anxiously awaiting the tree's arrival have no reason to worry. A new tree, a Norway spruce that's similar in size to the original tree, has been ordered and will arrive in time for the annual lighting ceremony the night after Thanksgiving that unofficially kicks off the holiday season in Cincinnati, according to Carden.

The lighting event will be held Nov. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m.

While Carden promised the tree would be in town in time for the ceremony she didn't have the specific date the tree would arrive. Details on the delivery schedule will be released in the coming days, she said.

"I hope they get it up soon so they can start their Christmas parties and that," said Janet Pfaff of Crestview Hills.

You can find out more information about the tree lighting and a complete list of winter events at Fountain Square at www.myfountainsquare.com .

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