MoBay Christmas tree to give Times Square effect

December 19, 2017
The St James Municipal Corporation Christmas Tree in Sam Sharpe Square.

If councillor Dwight Crawford, who heads the St James Municipal Corporation’s (StJMC) civic planning committee, is to be taken seriously, the Christmas tree the corporation has mounted will perhaps be the spectacle of the entire Christmas.

Unlike former years when the tree was mounted in front of the Montego Bay Civic and Cultural Centre, this year it is mounted on a 11-foot platform over the water fountain in Sam Sharpe Square, and will be clearly visible from locations outside of the historic square.

“We have always had concerns about the difficulty of viewing a 60-foot Christmas tree from ground level,” said Crawford. “At its current elevated location, it offers a spectacular view as with the decoration of the four legs of the platform; it basically becomes one with the fountain.”

There have been early complaints that the location robs onlookers of the intimacy of former years where children and their parents would stand around and under the tree and take photographs.

Crawford said that what is lost in that element will be nothing compared to what will be gained under the new look.

“Can you imagine taking a photograph that captures both a colourful Christmas tree and a fountain in all its glory together? It will be something g else,” said Crawford. “I am sure when you look at those photographs it would be like you were standing in Times Square, in New York, or some other first world country.”

He noted you don’t have to go into Sam Sharpe Square to see the tree.

"You can even see it from out in the ocean,” said a seemingly excited Crawford. “We are not using the full tree this year, but with the platform, it will be the same height as former years."

Regarding the fountain, Crawford said it will be decorated in a way that has never been seen before and the overall structure with the elated platform should make it the best Christmas tree in Jamaica.

When the construction of the elevated platform first started last week, rumours began circulating that a section of the tree, which is created out of metal, got washed away in the recent floods and with no time to create replacement parts, the municipal corporation decided to use the elevated platform to make up the difference. 

“That is absolutely not true," Crawford said. "The other parts of the tree are intact ... It is just that we did not want to create an extra tall tree.” 

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