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'Homegrown Louisvillians' donate their tree for the city's holiday festivities

The 35-foot tall Norway Spruce was donated by a Louisville family in the Parkway Village neighborhood.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Across the commonwealth, Kentuckians are gearing up for the holiday season. Here in Louisville, the city’s getting ready for it’s big holiday kick-off.

This year, the free "Light Up Louisville" event returns for its 42nd year on Nov. 25 at 3 p.m.

The centerpiece for the city’s festivities is a massive 35-foot tall Norway Spruce that was donated by a Louisville family in the Parkway Village neighborhood.

Greg Kaelin says his family has mixed emotions about giving up the tree, but is honored to make the donation to the city.

“We hate to see any tree cut down, but this beauty was getting far too big for us and living on a corner was making it hazardous to drivers,” he said in a press release from the mayor’s office.

Credit: WHAS11 News
Crews work to load the 35-foot tree onto a trailer. It will be taken from Parkway Village to downtown Louisville.

The tree will be decorated with ornaments and placed in Jefferson Square Park.

Kaelin said his family is “overjoyed and delighted” to share the massive tree in their front yard with the rest of the city.

“We are homegrown Louisvillians and could not be prouder to have been selected,” he said.

He and his wife, Karen, say after going through so much these last few years, they couldn't think of a more fitting way to kick off the season. 

"When it gets all decorated and everything, it's going to be bringing a lot of joy to the city," Kaelin said.

This year's event will feature the annual parade, which begins at 7 p.m., and numerous opportunities for families to enjoy holiday crafts and even get a photo with Santa Claus.

Santa will join Mayor Greg Fischer to officially "Light Up Louisville" by turning on tens of thousands of lights, including the city's Christmas tree, at 8 p.m.

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