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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — Mindi (left) and Addison Alley, 9, of Little Rock stand under the 65-foot tall white fir downtown Christmas Tree on Nov. 19, 2018, shortly after the Bright the Night lighting ceremony for the tree at the Capitol Plaza. The 2019 tree will be locally sourced. - Photo by Staton Breidenthal

The tree in Little Rock's downtown display this year will be shorter than those of Christmases past, but it will be greener.

For the first time, the Christmas tree in the plaza at Capitol Avenue and Main Street will come from Arkansas, which officials said is a more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective option.

For the past two years, the Downtown Little Rock Partnership has gotten trees from Oregon, which nonprofit spokesman Anderson Penix said is logistically complicated.

Penix said a member of the organization's holiday committee had the idea of getting a tree from Bemis Tree Farm in Pulaski County.

While the Oregon trees were tall and thin, the locally sourced tree will be shorter and wider. The newest tree's exact measurements weren't immediately available Wednesday.

The tree will be put in a planter in Capitol Plaza, and it will be replanted after New Year's Day, Penix said.

Past trees have been disposed of or repurposed as a fish habitat in a tributary of the Arkansas River, he said.

The tree is scheduled to be installed Nov. 15, and a celebration is scheduled for Nov. 25 starting at 5:30 p.m., with a lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Festivities will include music from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, pictures with Santa Claus, hot chocolate, cookies and "a few surprises," Penix said.

The event is free and open to the public.

Metro on 11/07/2019

Print Headline: Christmas display in downtown Little Rock to star local tree

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