Instead of jingling all the way this year, St. Helenans are rocking around the Christmas tree — or at least rolling past it in heavy traffic.
The nearly 32-foot-tall wine barrel tree sprouted up at Main Street and Hunt Avenue last week.
Organized by the city and the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce, the tree contains 109 barrels and 223 feet of garland. It’s approximately 10,500 pounds and don’t worry — it’s earthquake-proof, said Amy Carabba-Salazar, president and CEO of the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce.
“The Chamber wanted to do something that will make St. Helena stand out as the brightest town in all of Napa Valley and bring our community together during the holiday season,” Carabba-Salazar said.
The tree is the latest holiday-themed partnership between the city and the Chamber. The tradition started in 2018 with the Jingle All the Way roller rink and light display at Lyman Park and returned with a bigger and better ice rink in 2019.
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Due to the coronavirus, those large gatherings were replaced in 2020 with the Hunt Avenue Hub, a socially distanced space on Hunt between Main Street and Railroad Avenue. This year’s iteration of the Hub offers chairs surround a handful of wine barrels that can double as tables.
“The wine barrel tree is something people will want to come together and take a photo in front of,” Carabba-Salazar said. “It’s a sight to see!”
The Hub is open from sunrise to 9 p.m. daily through Jan. 3, when it will be removed to restore vehicular access. In the meantime, drivers are advised to use Pope Street and Edwards Street as a detour.
The Chamber is also hosting a Holiday Wine Barrel Tour through Jan. 2, with over 180 hand-painted and decorated barrels around town. A map is available at holidays.sthelena.com.
You can reach Jesse Duarte at 967-6803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.