Community Yule Plans Unfolding: An Artificial Tree Appears Headed To N. Main Plaza

Published 7:26 am Wednesday, May 27, 2015

FARMVILLE — The proposed community Christmas tree appears headed toward the plaza where High Bridge Trail crosses North Main Street.

The initial question of a live or artificial tree seems definitely settled. The Town bought an artificial tree from Longwood University for $500.

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Furthermore, the Town is considering moving the caboose, located adjacent to the historic train station, to the plaza, too.

The caboose could be used for many events and at Christmastime could be Santa’s hang-out when he comes to visit area children and ask them what they’d like him to leave in their stockings.

The first caboose-moving bid came in at $35,000, but a second was much lower—$12,800.

“These are people that move cabooses and train cars all the time,” Town Manager Gerald Spates told town council during its regular May monthly meeting.

The Town is having a schematic design prepared to present to council members to show them what the configuration of the Christmas tree and the Santa-suit red caboose would look like.

“I think it’s a good location for the Christmas tree,” Spates said, “a nice area along the trail.”

The caboose, he believes, would be another solid contributor to an area of town already bustling with activity, and that is the point of moving it.

The Farmville Downtown Partnership “could use the caboose for events they have,” the town manager noted, adding “there would be a lot of uses for the caboose. It’s not used where it is.”

When the discussion focused on paying for the caboose maneuver, it was decided to fund any change in location in the 2015-16 budget, after the precise location is very definitely settled.

“We need to look at the plans,” observed Mayor David E. Whitus, “and only move it one time, to the right place.”

As for the artificial tree, like many toys children find under their own Christmas trees on Christmas morning, some assembly is required.

“It’s going to take several days to put it together,” predicted Spates.

Council member Donald L. Hunter estimated the tree, its sections neatly packed away, must be in at least 30 boxes.