Downtown Boise Rings in the Christmas Season With a Special Cause

The City of Boise kicked off the Christmas season with their annual Christmas Tree Lighting event in the Grove Plaza on Friday night! And I'll tell you this much, this tree has a lot of special meaning. It was all explained at the event, and we were there to cover it... even though there was a little bit of rain.

This Norway spruce was grown by the Eld family, who planted it on their ranch up in Donnelly way back in the 1970s. When the Elds moved to Boise, the then 6-foot tree came with them and found a new home in the Eld's front yard. Evenually, the tree got too large and had to be cut down. But the Eld's were more than willing to donate this beautiful tree to the City of Boise, and with the help of the Boise Forestry Department, it was carefully cut and transported to the Grove Plaza, and adorned with thousands of twinkling lights!

Mayor Dave Bieter was there with very special guests, a refugee family from Uganda, to push the button and light the tree. I actually ran into Mayor Bieter as he was walking in front of CenturyLink Arena before the lighting. He's a good guy! And you better believe I name-dropped the Boise Christmas Lights project 😉

Downtown Boise Christmas Tree, Nov 23, 2018.

In the true spirit of the season, this tree has a very special purpose - it's also a Giving Tree! This giving tree benefits and Women's and Children's Alliance. At the base of the tree, there are multiple tags with items listed on them. You can pull a tag off the tree and drop the items off at the following Zions Bank locations through December 21st:

Boise Main, 800 W. Main Street, Suite 100, Boise
Eagle & Chinden, 6176 North Eagle Road, Boise
Meridian Silverstone, 3715 E Overland Road, Suite 130, Meridian
Nampa, 2121 W Karcher Road, Nampa
Caldwell, 509 South Kimball Avenue, Caldwell

There was live music from the band Red Light Challenge to kick off the Christmas Tree Lighting event, and thousands of people came together to rock out and sing along to some of their favorite Christmas songs, candles in hand. Red Light Challenge sounded pretty good! Plus I always appreciate when a band incorporates any kind of brass, instead of just the standard guitar, bass, keys and drums.

Red Light Challenge performs for the crowd at Grove Plaza on Nov 23, 2018.

It was sprinkling rain just a little bit, but nothing too bad. I will say that a rain drop hit my phone camera lens right as I was about to capture the lighting for our FB/IG story, so that's why it looks kinda messed up, LOL. But luckily our Facebook live went on without a hitch!

Let's just hope that nobody steals the star off the top of the tree again this year.