Volunteers place county’s Christmas tree

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Bill Craig helped guide this year’s tree into place on the bandstand at Spring Valley by Circuit Court in Cambridge on Saturday.

CAMBRIDGE — A group of volunteers spent Saturday getting one of Dorchester’s holiday traditions in place — the Christmas tree at Spring Valley.

A group including a crane truck loaned by Danny Muffoletto of Custom Welding & Fabrication headed to Jim Harris’ tree farm near Preston early Saturday morning. After a bit of discussion, a 16-year-old white fir was chosen, and cut down.

Truck operator Sylvester Wright operated the crane, and lifted the several-hundred-pound tree onto the back of the flatbed for the trip to Cambridge. Amy Craig, who was leading the effort, was grateful for Mr. Muffoletto’s generosity, saying, “We wouldn’t be able to do it without him.”

The tradition started several years ago, when a group decided that what the bandstand at Spring Valley needed was a fresh-cut tree for the holiday. That band of volunteers is now comprised of Ms. Craig and her husband Bill, Patti and J.B. Tieder, Billie Sue Norton, Gage Thomas, Paul Hurley, Linda Henry, Scott and Marybeth Daniels.

They each donate $100, Ms. Craig said, and this year the Dorchester County Council approved $500 for the display and festivities associated with the lighting ceremony. Cambridge City Council Member Steve Rideout and his wife Bobbie made a personal donation of $500, and an anonymous gift of $200 has been promised. The Garden Club will put their skills to work decorating the tree, while a crew from Tieder Electric will install the lights.

When the tree is lighted later this month, many families with excited young children will be on hand to enjoy the occasion. A statement from the county’s Department of Tourism says, “Kick off the season with the annual Christmas tree lighting on Saturday, Nov. 30 in downtown Cambridge – and bring the family! The festive evening includes music, a visit from Santa Claus, and Christmas cheer. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Spring Valley, located by the Dorchester County Courthouse at High and Church Streets. Come early to stop in Downtown Cambridge shops and restaurants.” The address of the court house is 206 High St.

Though at first the job involved simply placing a tree, it has become something much more.

“It’s infectious,” Ms. Craig said. “You don’t want to give it up, it brings so much joy.”

When local resident Connie Barnett saw the news online, she wrote, “Dorchester County reaches out to our community again.”

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.