LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It’s less than a week away from Thanksgiving, but it's already beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Louisville. The tree for Light Up Louisville is getting set up in Jefferson Square Park Friday afternoon.
This year's pick comes from a home near Seneca Park. Estelle Cohen has lived in the spot for about 30 years, but the tree has been around a few decades longer.
"What had happened since probably 1955-1960, this tree had finally grown enough that if a bad wind came and went toward her house, it would destroy her house,” Cohen’s brother, Teddy Gordon, said.
Part problem-solver, part Christmas-lover, Cohen decided to donate her front yard forest to the festivities.
"She is very, very proud that the city chose her tree,” Gordon said. "It makes her Christmas royalty. We're proud to participate."
The city had several options to choose from this year, and it’s not an easy decision.
"It takes not only the tree itself. I look at the route it takes to get it in and cut and get it out,” Louisville Metro Parks Forestry Manager Mike Blankenship said. “It's a big process. It's not just picking a tree and saying that's the one I want and just taking it. I go out and do an inspection. If the tree meets the criteria, then we normally pick the tree. It's definitely a lot of dedication and hard work."
Standing just about a mile from the interstate catapulted Cohen’s tree to the top spot on the selection list.
"It's the perfect tree for this year because it's a tall, nice, beautiful Blue Spruce. It's not really spread out like we'd normally pick, but the location this year had a lot to do with it,” Blankenship said.
"They said how easy it would be to take it right down Cannons Lane to 264 and go downtown. Metro Parks said that was the easiest tree they'll be able to move,” Gordon said.
Light Up Louisville kicks off at noon on Friday, November 24. Mayor Fischer and Santa will light the tree at 8:00 p.m. in Jefferson Square Park.