The arrival of a Christmas tree on city land in downtown Haverhill a week before Thanksgiving has some residents debating over its timing and the alleged use of tax dollars for, “a religious purpose.
However, Allison Heartquist, executive assistant to Mayor James J. Fiorentini, told WHAV, “Valley Tree Services donated their services. This was done through the chamber of commerce. In past years, the City has paid for these services, but not this year.”
This year’s city Christmas tree was put in place in Washington Square Wednesday after tree workers harvested an evergreen donated by a resident in the upper Hilldale Avenue area. Online comments to the timing of the tree placement range from reminiscing of past downtown holiday decorations, or “nothing wrong with a little Christmas spirit early,” to allegations that “tax dollars are being used for a religious purpose rather than to fix roads.”
Decorating efforts are under way as the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree will take place at the end of ChillFest (formerly Christmas Stroll), being held from 2 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 6.